Day care smash-and-grabs on the rise

Crime
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VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Thieves are targeting drivers dropping off or picking up kids at day care, incidents Vancouver police said are on the rise.

While the parent is gone for just a few minutes, a thief smashes your car window and steals whatever valuables are easily available. It takes just 15 seconds for a smash-and-grab to happen.

“Thieves are casing day care lots, watching parents go in to drop their kids off and then smashing car windows or opening unlocked doors and stealing purses, computers, phones and other valuables that are left in the vehicle,” Vancouver police said in a Facebook post.

Tina Werner's car was broken into when she went to pick up a child at a Vancouver day care, April 4, 2019 (Courtesy: Tina Werner)

One grandmother who spoke with KOIN 6 News said she learned the hard way. On April 4, she parked at a day care in East Vancouver around 5 p.m., stashed her purse in the backseat, locked the door and ran inside for less than 10 minutes.

When she returned, there was glass everywhere in her car. A thief broke out the back driver’s side window and her purse was gone — along with her wallet, her checkbook and her credit cards.

“I shouldn’t have left it in there,” Tina Werner told KOIN 6 News. “I told myself after it happened, ‘Why did I leave it in there?’ I thought the dog would scare away anyone who came up, but come to find out they were watching me.”

She said someone eventually found her purse in a Dumpster. She got her purse and makeup back but her wallet was gone.

“Take your purse, bag, phone with you when you drop your kids off or anytime your vehicle will be left unattended,” Vancouver police said in their post. “Please don’t leave ANY valuables in your vehicle ‘even for a minute.'”

It’s not even safe to park and then hide your valuable in the trunk because the thieves will watch, then break into your car and pop your trunk.

Watch: Smash-and-grab video from Vancouver Police Department

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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