Local News

State senators aim to curb property crime

SPOKANE, Wash. - You're more likely to be the victim of a property crime than any other crime, and, when you live in Washington, the chances are even higher.

According to the FBI, only Hawaii and New Mexico have a bigger per capita problem when it comes to people stealing everything from cars to identities to electronics.

The Washingon State Legislature wants to help Spokane battle its long-standing problem with property crimes.

State Senator Michael Baumgartner says both his home and car have been burglarized. So, along with Senator Mike Padden's help, these fellas have picked up a $300,000 grant to help the Spokane area with property crimes. They'll spend the money on anything that can help put our repeat offenders out of business.

"Last year, in the budget, we had an opportunity to find a little more money for property crime," said Sen. Baumgartner. "So we put that here into the City of Spokane and the county, the sheriff's office, and looking at things like license plate readers and enhancing whatever we can do to reduce property crime."

They also know that the penalties for property crimes just are not serving as deterrents and thieves will gladly take the risk of stealing your stuff. The two senators want to ask the legislature to put longer prison sentences in place for the same people getting convicted over and over.

"Some of the things are drug addiction, some of the things are mental health issues, and sometimes we're just not locking up enough people, and so again it's going to take a community approach and it's going to take a state approach to work together," said Sen. Baumgartner.

That is why the Washington State Senate Law and Justice Committee is holding a work session in the Spokane Valley City Council chambers on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

The committee wants our ideas about where we could spend that $300,000, making sure we don't wake up to broken glass when it's time to start up our cars.