CRIME TRACKER: Home burglaries up in Kennewick, down in Pasco

CRIME TRACKER: Home burglaries up in Kennewick, down in Pasco »Play Video
TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- The KEPR Crime Tracker is looking at home burglaries and found Kennewick has seen a noticeable increase.

Christian Howard and Alisha Schneider come to Kennewick's Underwood Park to get some fresh air. Both have lived here for most of their lives, but now, don't feel safe walking more than the few blocks to the park.

"I've been kind of hesitant toward walking to friend's houses because I know there's a lot been going on and I don't want to end up part of it," Howard says.

Christian's neighbor was one of the more than 150 burglary victims so far this year in Kennewick. The family only had their gas siphoned, but others haven't been so lucky.

These crimes rose 15 percent through the first six months of this year, compared to the same time last year. Police say while many homes have windows smashed or doors broken in, more than half of these burglaries are from people leaving doors unlocked.

"Everybody thinks the burglar's out there picking locks like we see on TV or in the movies. Not the case. They're looking for the easy and unsecured," says Kennewick Sgt. Ken Lattin.

Burglaries in Richland have stayed fairly steady, relatively flat year to year, but across the river, Pasco has seen a 12 percent decrease during the same time period. Pasco Police attributes the drop to targeting hot spot neighborhoods for burglaries.

Police in Kennewick say the increase has backed up their proactive patrol efforts.

"What we have to focus on as a community is LOCK YOUR STUFF. Doesn't matter whether it's a burglary, whether it's an auto theft, whether it's a car prowl. The majority of them are still unsecured," Sgt. Lattin added.

So whether you think you live in a safe enough neighborhood to leave those doors unlocked, police say it's that extra step that will ultimately bring down crime in our neighborhoods.

Kennewick Police says crime is up across the board, except for graffiti. The city saw a 48-percent decrease in the amount of tags. They attribute most of the increases in crime to a rotation of criminals coming out of prison.