Car prowler(s) on the loose all over Gig Harbor

How to discourage car prowlers

Puyallup police want you to know what not to leave in your vehicle to discourage car prowlers.
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Puyallup police want you to know what not to leave in your vehicle to discourage car prowlers.

Gig Harbor police are on the lookout for whoever's responsible for a string of vehicle prowls that started June 26.

An officer dispatched to the first report went to the 4000 block of Boulder Court and talked with a couple who said the wife parked her car in the driveway about 9:30 the night before. The next morning her husband saw her car was “in an unusual state of disarray,” police said.

They determined $20, a Key Bank credit card and some medical paperwork had been stolen.

The officer searched for evidence with the help of the wife, who noticed three fingerprints on the base of the front passenger window. She said she had just the car washed and didn’t believe they were hers. The officer collected the fingerprints as evidence.

The wife then noticed someone had stuck a chewed piece of gum over a Bluetooth light on the car's ceiling. The officer photographed and collected the gum as evidence.

During the investigation, one of the couple’s neighbors came over and told the officer his car had been broken into but nothing appeared to have been stolen.

Later that day, the same police officer responded to a vehicle prowl call in the 4000 block of Overlook Court. The victim said someone had stolen two $50 promotional gas gift cards, an insurance card, $100 and the victim's mileage log book for his job.

About 10:30 a.m., a different officer was dispatched to the West Shore Marina for a report of a theft and vehicle prowl.

The victim, who works with local students on the Gig Harbor Yacht Club Sailing Team, said the team has a trailer at the marina on which it stores equipment. The victim said someone had stolen one of five floating transceivers left behind a security gate to charge.

The thief then entered the victim’s car and stole a wallet that contained her identification and $10. The transceiver was valued at $120.

Later that day, the first officer was dispatched to the 11000 block of Heather Place for a fourth vehicle prowl. The victim said had stolen his vehicle registration the night before and his neighbors had discovered their cars had been broken into and items were missing.

The next day, a resident of the 4000 block of Amber Court told police he'd been awakened at 4:30 the day before by the sound of his house alarm and heard his garage door opening.He went to his car and found multiple items had been stolen, including his wallet with two credit cards, a military I.D., a Costco card, a University of Washington I.D. and $30.

The next morning, police responded to yet another vehicle prowl in the 3000 block of 102nd Street. A resident said his wife had seen a man with a “bowl-cut” hairstyle, a gray sweatshirt and jeans and an orange backpack near her subdivision entrance. She said the man seemed nervous.

The man later discovered his work bag was no longer in his wife’s car. Also missing was their home keys, their parents’ home keys and their work keys.

On June 29, a woman came to the police department to report her green duffel bag had been stolen from her car after she parked at KinderCare Learning Center on Grandview Street to drop off her son. The police called the woman’s husband, who said a card stolen from them had been used at the Gig Harbor Home Depot, McDonalds and an Arco Gas Station in Tacoma.

An officer went to the day care and spoke with the manager, who'd seen a blond woman park a silver sedan next to the victim’s car, but didn’t think anything of it.

The officer interviewed employees at a nearby gas station who said a blond woman had asked to use the bathroom but left in a hurry after being told the bathroom was occupied. The employees said the woman possibly was with a man.

The officer got photos from video surveillance at the McDonalds and Home Depot where the victim’s card was used. The restaurant’s photos were no help because the purchase was made in the drive-thru. The Home Depot photos showed a woman with brown hair and gray sweatpants making the illegal purchase and showed a silver sedan in the parking lot.

Over the next three days, police investigated five more vehicle prowls