KENNEWICK — Missing an old pocket watch or pair of Ben Franklin-style reading glasses?
Those items and nearly 100 others are part of a cache of stolen goods that can be claimed by their owners at the Benton County Sheriff's Office in Kennewick.
Knives, cellphones, tools, stereo equipment, spotting scopes and other electronic devices were taken by thieves during dozens of car prowl burglaries in recent months, said Detective Scott Runge.
Runge had the items laid out Wednesday at the sheriff's office in an attempt to find their rightful owners and to get enough evidence to prosecute the burglars.
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Police recovered many stolen items, but believe most of the more valuable things -- GPS units, iPods and electronics -- were traded or sold before the cache was found, he said.
Victims can retrieve their missing property and at the same time help prosecute the thieves, Runge said.
The items were found over the weekend when police searched a location in Kennewick based on a tip, Runge said.
Police also are looking for several suspects who will be charged if they can be connected to the stolen property.
Runge said the stolen items have been linked to vehicle prowls from October through this month in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland and areas in Benton and Franklin counties.
Comparing details from the car prowls, including footprints in snow, led detectives to believe the same individuals were involved in the three cities and two counties.
Most of the thefts are from unlocked vehicles, Runge noted.
"Some people may not have even bothered to report the loss because they didn't think it was anything of any real value. But it is huge to us in helping prosecute. This is about putting together a case for prosecution," Runge said.
The detective said vehicle prowl burglaries are "mostly crimes of opportunity."
Keeping valuables out of sight and locking vehicles, even when parked in your driveway, helps remove the opportunity, Runge said.
"People don't realize the potential damage from leaving a car unlocked," he said, adding that a thief can grab a garage door opener from a car, too, knowing it can lead to a second opportunity for someone to steal.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a car prowler is asked to call Runge at 735-6555.