Thieves target vehicles parked at the start of the Badger Mountain and Candy Mountain trails in the Tri-Cities.
Wallets and purses with credit cards, cash and ID are among the most frequently stolen in burglaries, said Shyanne Palmus, Benton County communications coordinator.
“Windows are broken to get into cars, but we always urge everyone to make sure their vehicles are locked before going on a hike and not to leave any valuables in your car, whether they are prominent or not, “the press release said.
In a recent case, a victim received a fraud alert text message before reaching the summit of Candy Mountain because a thief broke into a car and was already trying to use credit cards in Kennewick when the hiker could walk 1.5 miles. back to the lot.
Benton County officials are discussing a possible increase in safety at popular hiking grounds, but no decision has been made yet, she wrote.
“We have received numerous reports this week of break-ins at Badger (at the Westgate Trailhead, off Dallas Road) and Candy Mountain, although we know we are not unique in this area – other agencies and trailheads experience similar adverse activity, ”the statement said.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office and the Richland Police Department are investigating various reports.
Stolen items are not often in sight, but can be found under the front seat, in the glove box or in the center console.
“We believe that in many cases perpetrators hang out in parking lots, stalking their targets,” the statement said.
County officials are asking the public to report any suspicious activity at local trailheads to 911, leave valuables at home, and make sure your vehicle is locked while hiking.