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* Crime Alert: Car prowls rise, Greenwood lot closing at night

(Note: This article  contains updated information since it was originally posted at 6:30 p.m., May, 8, 2013.)

A spike in car prowls at Shoreline Community College is prompting officials to warn students, staff and visitors as well as institute an evening closure of one of the more remote parking lots at the college.

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“We’ve had 22 thefts from cars at the end of 2012 and nine so far this year,” Director of Safety & Security Robin Blacksmith said. The latest reported incident was Tuesday, May 7. “We’ve not had anything like this since I’ve been here.”

Blacksmith said most of the thefts are “smash and grab” types, where the thief sees something of value in the car, smashes a window, grabs the item and runs off. “The best thing people can do is to not leave anything of any possible value visible in the car,” she said. “We’ve had break-ins for the change in the ashtray and a sweater.”

Some of the incidents have been occurring in what is known as the “Greenwood lot,” a less formal, mostly dirt parking lot that is visually removed from the main-campus lots.

Blacksmith said that one recent incident in the Greenwood lot involved possible suspects looking in an SUV with tinted windows, but apparently didn't realize there was a person in the back seat. The occupant, a minor, began banging on the inside of the windows and yelling, scaring the persons away.

 “We are closing the lower Greenwood parking lot at 5:30 p.m. through the rest of spring quarter,” Blacksmith said. The lot is used mostly as overflow during the busiest morning class times. New signs about the evening closure are posted at the lot. If a vehicle does become locked in past 5:30 p.m., the driver can call the on-duty security officer at 206-235-5860 to be let out, she said.

SCC /Jim Hills

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