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Police warn hikers after rash of car break-ins

Officials say don't leave valuables in car at trailheads

Police are warning hikers and sightseers in the Columbia River Gorge not to leave valuables in their vehicles.

Seven vehicles were broken into from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 26, according to a press release from the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

The thieves snatched backpacks, expensive clothes, wallets and purses with hundreds of dollars in cash, credit cards and identification cards, high-end binoculars and assorted wilderness and camping gear.

The break-in spree targeted vehicles in the parking lots of the Thousand Acres, Sheppard's Dell, Angels Rest, Multnomah Falls, Oneonta Gorge and Eagle Creek trail heads. Car windows were either smashed or pried open, the press release states.

'Leapfrogging through the Columbia River Gorge trail heads committing car break-ins is a crime popular among the methamphetamine subculture,' the release states. 'It is a crime of opportunity.'

In addition to taking along valuables, Gorge visitors should be aware of their surroundings and alert to people 'who look like they are casing the parking lot or who don't appear to be engaged in sightseeing or hiking.'