Police in North Bend and Coos Bay are reporting a spike this year in “car clouting,” a quick smash-and-grab crime. It’s hard to say exactly why, but it’s clear that residents are feeling the impact.
“It’s a crime of opportunity,” says Sgt. Kevin Hedgepeth of Coos Bay Police. Thieves check a string of cars in a block or area in a matter of seconds and take what they can grab quickly. It’s a problem that used to be confined to high tourist areas, but it’s now spreading into residential neighborhoods.
Hedgepeth and Zacarro both urge residents to stay alert, especially in the evening hours when clouts occur most often. They also point out that residents can help by keeping their vehicles locked, even if they’re home during the night. It’s a small measure that can deter thieves who are quick to rifle through the glove box and may be looking for expensive items to steal.