Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

AH hit by 40 vehicle prowls


Airway Heights residents may want to double check to make sure their vehicles are secure before leaving them unattended.

In the city’s newsletter, the Police Department reported an increase in vehicle prowls and thefts around Airway Heights. Police Chief Lee Bennett has brought up the issue at past City Council meetings.

According to Sgt. Robert Swan of the Airway Heights Police Department, the current number of vehicle prowls for the year is 40, which are up from last year’s number around this time. The city had a total of 57 vehicle prowls for all of 2013. He added that there have been 20 vehicle thefts so far and nine stolen vehicles have been recovered.

Swan said most of the incidents happen at Hayford Road, specifically at Northern Quest Casino, Walmart and at the Cedar Summit Estates apartment buildings. He explained these areas have a lot of foot traffic several times throughout the day.

Swan said vehicle prowls are a crime of opportunity and that it only takes 30 seconds for a prowler to find a prospective car to try to break into whether the vehicle is an older or newer model.

“Sometimes they’ll see something valuable and they’ll want to take it,” Swan said. “People leave expensive items in their vehicles and some even leave their doors unlocked.”

Swan said the department recommends that drivers take all of their items out of the car or at least store items in the trunk. He added that residents should never leave their identification in the glove compartment.

The department recommended that once residents park their car, they should examine the area.

They also recommend that residents choose a well-lit open space if they park on the street.

The Police Department is taking measures to prevent the issue. Swan said that officers on night duty will typically make contact with people they see walking around in parking lots. The department is also planning to start a coalition with other local agencies to deter vehicle crimes in the city.

If residents have their vehicle broken into, they should contact the police. If the crime is in progress, they should call 911. They should also take note of the suspect’s description.

Al Stover can be reached at

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