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Victim: Golden Gardens dog park is 'hot spot' for car prowlers

A series of car break-ins at Golden Gardens has some dog owners frustrated and concerned. Some of the vehicles where the car prowls happened were parked at the off-leash area, which is the upper portion of the park. (KOMO Photo)

SEATTLE -- A series of car break-ins at Golden Gardens has some dog owners frustrated and concerned. Some of the vehicles where the car prowls happened were parked at the off-leash area, which is the upper portion of the park.

Some residents posted about the car prowls in a social media post, including the friend of victim Kelly Bailey whose car window was smashed on Sunday afternoon.

“It was a full parking lot,” said car Kelly Bailey. “People were circling the parking lot looking for spaces, and (the car prowlers) were brazen enough to do it with people coming and going with their dogs.”

Bailey said the car prowlers took a shopping bag that was underneath a jacket in the front. The bag had some dog supplies in it and Bailey’s wallet.

“It’s personal. I feel violated,” said Bailey. “It’s a lot of money and time that goes into it. I’m following up on where my credit cards attempted to be used and I’m trying to find (the suspects).”

According to Seattle Police, there have been at least five reports of car prowls at Golden Gardens during the last three weeks. According to Bailey, there were at least three car prowls on Sunday in the off-leash area where her car got hit. A friend of another victim posted on social media that the suspects immediately used the stolen credit cards at nearby businesses.

I think it’s just an easy target because people realize, sometimes, folks are taking a lunch break or whatever, running their dog real quick,” said Kevin Pelletier who is a dog walker and park steward for Golden Gardens

Pelletier visits the park three times a day.

“My gut kind of tells me that they’re watching from somewhere just because it happens so quick,” said Pelletier.

On Monday, Bailey had her car window repaired in Greenwood and said she’s paid at least $800 so far dealing with repairs.

“I would just advise people not to leave things in sight. I certainly won’t do it again, but at the same time we should be able to. We should feel safe enough,” said Bailey.

There are signs posted in the park warning people to not leave valuables in the car, but Bailey thinks more needs to be done. She wants the city to install surveillance cameras since the area is a hot spot for car prowls.

“There’s a lot of construction going on in the city- where’s the money going? Why do we not have more police officers to patrol these areas? Why are there not cameras in places that are regularly hit,” asked Bailey.

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