EVERETT, Wash. — Figures from Everett Police showed there was a 46% increase in car break-ins in the first half of 2021.
Between Jan. 1 and April 30, police said there were 376 car break-ins within city limits. There were 256 cases in the same period a year earlier.
As a result of so many car prowl cases, the owner of Everett’s Totem Diner set up a makeshift security camera to stop thieves once and for all.
“It’s shock to see that sort of thing happen,” said Steve Jermyn.
Jermyn told KIRO 7 that before 2021, there would be around three car break-ins at the Totem Diner each year.Recently, however, he said that number of break-ins had occurred over a week.
In almost every case, it was his loyal customers who paid the price.
“We know what the restaurant industry has been like that last year, and these are people who are trying to help you survive, and it’s just heart-wrenching,” he said.
According to authorities, rising unemployment and drug use is causing this spike.
For that reason, Jermyn dipped into his own pockets and rented a makeshift security camera to guard customers’ cars in his parking lot.
Customers like Vicki Dire told KIRO 7 they appreciated the safeguards.
“Any time you have something like that out, that’s good. That’s a really good thing,” she said.
Jermyn’s efforts have paid off.
In the month since his security camera went up, he said there’s not been a single car break-in.
Even then, he told KIRO 7 he wasn’t yet at ease.
“If the cameras don’t work, we’ll get private security to monitor the lots while we’re open. Whatever it takes.”
Cox Media Group