Property crime up in Kennewick and Richland

Property crime up in Kennewick and Richland »Play Video
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- The KEPR Crime Tracker found property crimes are up in Kennewick and Richland over the first few months of the year. KEPR looked at the reasons why.

Christopher Stone has lived in a rural area most of his life. He's never locked his house or his cars. But that changed when he moved to West Sixth Avenue in Kennewick a couple years ago.

"We have to leave the vehicle locked at all times; the house has to be locked," said Stone.

He's had multiple cars broken into multiple times.

"Most of the crimes here that I see, what has happened to me, has been like a snatch-and-grab crime where people will be walking down the streets, a crime of opportunity," he said.

The numbers show that incidents like Christopher's happened a lot more frequently in the first quarter this year.

"We're seeing that it's rising in some of those areas back up to what it was a while ago," said Kennewick Police Department Crime Prevention Specialist Mike Blatman.

Kennewick saw 86 percent more car thefts and nearly a third more cars ransacked between January and April of this year versus last year. A quarter more businesses were burglarized, and home burglary is up 10 percent, making Kennewick's total property crime higher by a quarter.

Kennewick police say they already know who's responsible for about a third of these burglaries in the last quarter, after making seven arrests in the last couple weeks.

"We've already noticed a significant decrease," said Blatman.

Blatman says the arrests have helped make the second quarter look a lot better already. He says it's important to remember a lot of thefts are preventable.

Christopher Stone definitely can attest to that.

"I see the crime, I understand that it's occurring, we try to take precautions," said Stone. "I don't fear for myself, my personal safety. I fear for the things that I have."

Richland's crime for the past four months is up about 30 percent compared to the same quarter in 2013. It's important to note they don't have nearly as many crimes as Kennewick to begin with. Pasco's property crime for the same time period was flat.