REDMOND, Ore. - (Update: Correcting Petersen's last name; car with stolen firearm was among unlocked)
Police said Monday at least 13 vehicles were broken into and vandalized in northwest Redmond overnight, some sprayed with obscene graffiti. Among the items stolen were cash and a firearm.
Officers said the break-ins happened in the area of Northwest 22nd Street and Quince Avenue between midnight and 6 a.m. They said six of the vehicles had vulgar words sprayed on them with a plastic cleaner. At least seven other cars were broken into.
Lt. Jesse Petersen said the neighborhood where it happened is typically one of the safest in Redmond. But he said there has been an increase recently in the number of break-ins reported throughout the city.
“There’s lots of reasons why this could be happening now,” Petersen said. “It could be the nicer weather, with people out and about and walking. There’s also the target of opportunity -- the opportunity that a vehicle presents itself, because it’s got nice items inside of it. It’s unlocked. Someone sees it, and they just go in there and take it.”
Petersen said there are two main reasons why these cars were targeted. Most of them were unlocked at the time, including the one from which a gun was stolen. Peterson said valuable items also were sitting in plain sight.
“We strongly encourage people to lock their vehicles and also keep items out of plain view," he said. "If you’re walking by, you look inside your car, you’re not seeing anything of value, so that nobody wants to get into your vehicle.”
Petersen said more cars may have been involved and not reported as of yet.
Officers said they are actively investigating the situation. They have no leads on any suspects yet, but they believe multiple people could be responsible.
Police are asking anyone who has any information or video surveillance of the area to please contact the Deschutes County non-emergency dispatch line to help with the investigation at 541-693-6911.