[midvalleybirds] Recent vehicle break-ins at Minto-Brown Island Park

Mitch Rohse mitchrohse at comcast.net
Sun Jul 7 11:08:13 PDT 2019

Thanks, Tim. My car was broken into in Salem's Wallace Marine Park boat launch parking lot a few years ago. The break-in occurred on one of the busiest July weekends of the year. I was barely able to find a parking place in the crowded lot. I assumed the crowding might deter theft, but as you note, it may simply provide more targets of opportunity.

Your last line, about not leaving "anything that looks like it might be valuable, “ is good advice. I didn’t leave anything valuable in my car, but I did leave a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt in plain sight on the back seat. The thieves broke a rear window and stole only those two items. I presume they expected to find a wallet in the rear pocket of the shorts.

I told the glass-repair guy I was surprised that a thief would smash a car window in such a crowded place. He said, “They don’t really smash the window. They stick a big screw driver or metal bar in the crack where glass meets metal frame, and then pull on it. It’s not real conspicuous, and it only takes about a second.”

Mitch Rohse
Email:     mitchrohse at comcast.net
Website:  justmynature.smugmug.com	

> On Jul 7, 2019, at 8:12 AM, Tim Johnson <tim.the.fisherman at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I have some bad news to report regarding parking lot 3 at Minto-Brown
> Island Park in South Salem (parking lot 3 is at the end of the road into
> the park). There’s been a rash of vehicle break-ins recently. On the last
> two Salem Audubon field trips here, a couple participates had their
> vehicles broken into. One had a window broken. The other had a car door
> lock broken. A Salem police officer who responded to the most recent
> break-in told me that these break-in were happening frequently at this
> parking lot.
> The most recent break-in that I am aware of happened on the morning of July
> 4th between 9:00-9:45 am, when the parking lot was full of cars with many
> people in and around the parking lot. Apparently the presence of lots of
> park visitors does not discourage the thieves.
> The park ranger told me that break-ins are probably more likely when there
> are many cars in the parking lot. This gives the thieves more opportunities
> to observe purses, backpacks or other items of possible value in parked
> cars.
> Minto-Brown Park is a popular birding area and many of people come to the
> park to go on bird walks. If that includes you, my advise is to try to
> avoid visiting the park on weekends or holidays when there are a lot of
> park visitors, and don’t leave anything that looks like it might contain
> items of value visible in your vehicle.
> Tim Johnson
> Salem, OR
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