Burglaries on the rise in West Valley

Burglaries on the rise in West Valley »Play Video

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- It's a burglary trend that's moving in the wrong direction. The KIMA Crime Tracker looked into the problem in West Valley after some recent break-ins. At one point, deputies made three arrests in a week.

Wayne Riddle has lived in Yakima County for about a year. He came from out of town and settled in West Valley.
    
"Out here, it's a little more quieter, and I kind of prefer that," Wayne said.

It hasn't been as quiet as he'd like. Wayne has heard about recent arrests connected to burglaries in West Valley. Deputies arrested three suspects in one week.

"It makes me feel good that they're getting caught. The fact the crime is taking place is a little bit of a concern," he said.

KIMA wanted to know how concerned you should be. We pulled the numbers and found more home break-ins are happening in West Valley.

There have been 36 cases reported so far this year; last year, 138. That's up from 113 in 2012 and 95 in 2011.

However, deputies are downplaying the increase. They say the numbers don't necessarily mean more burglaries are happening, just that more people are reporting the crimes.

"It doesn't hurt still to call the police and say, 'Hey, you know, I just want to let you know I saw this, not something I usually see. I don't ever see this person around here,'" said Wayne.

That's what deputies say helped them make the three recent arrests.

Wayne says he doesn't worry about burglars taking his stuff when he leaves home.

"I feel perfectly safe here," Riddle said.

Deputies say they're seeing more people come in asking about starting block watch groups. However, some of them are having trouble getting off the ground because people are reluctant to be the primary contact with authorities.

On the other end of the valley, the number of burglaries is lower by comparison. There were 107 cases in 2011. They dropped to 79 a year later before a slight increase to 86 last year.