Hillyard auto shop owner frustrated by crime

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by MIKE GONZALEZ & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 3, 2014 at 8:38 AM

Updated Saturday, May 3 at 8:56 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A local auto body shop owner said he's not sure how many break-ins he can afford before he has to move or close his doors.

Dan's Pit Stop in Hillyard keeps getting hit by thieves and owner Dan Zoesch said Spokane Police don't have the resources to stop it.

WATCH: Hillyard mechanic catches vandals on camera

Zoesch said he is sick of things being stolen from his shop on Crestline and Queen.

“Anything from paper work to jumper cables to car stereos,” said Zoesch.

He even caught a guy on camera stealing a transmission right in front of the shop, while the workers were in the office on a lunch break.
   
“What I've thought about doing is arming myself and staying here at the shop and trying to catch them,” Zoesch said.

The area around the shop is a hot spot for Spokane Police. Within a two-mile radius, burglaries and thefts were up 18 percent over the past year. Vehicle thefts were up 11.8 percent, according to authorities.

“There's been days that the theft has outweighed the money we've brought in.”

Police said they have been ramping up patrols in the neighborhood.

“It's kind of hard to [believe] when this is happening at least once a week, when a car is gone through or a window is broken,” said Zoesch.

A resident next door gave Dan a surveillance camera Friday because he doesn't want to see the  business go. Dan also said he is working with neighbors and other businesses in the area to start a neighborhood watch.

“We're getting to the point where we don't really want to move or relocate or give up, but we may have to raise our prices.”

Spokane Police said they have increased the number of times they drive by Dan's Pit Stop in the past two months, and that burglaries have dropped over that time by 10 percent - from 26 burglaries to 21.

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