Victims of car burglars along Westlake Ave. worry crooks might have stolen their identities, too

SEATTLE -- New surveillance video provides new hope that a trio of car burglars will be caught.

The crooks rifled through more than 50 cars along Westlake Avenue. Now, some victims worry about the fallout from what the thieves took.

A number of the victims said their proof of insurance cards – and vehicle registrations -- were taken during the smash-and-grab spree, information that a crook needs to steal an identity.

Bill Wehrenberg discovered his vehicle registration was gone last Friday.

“It’s crazy to come out in the morning and see so many cars and glass all over the parking lot,” he said.

The crooks were all caught on surveillance video. They used flashlights to peer into cars – and a crowbar to smash their way in.

Wehrenberg is worried that the crooks aren’t only after nickels and dimes.

“I had a friend whose car was broken into a few months ago and they stole his identity and started three credit cards,” he said.

Just a couple weeks ago, crooks likely used the information on hiker Adam Cox’s car registration to break into his house – after they disabled his car and stranded him in the North Cascades while he was on a hike there.

“We never thought someone would take the address and our house keys and drive almost three hours (into Seattle) and burglarize our house,” said Cox.

“It’s pretty scary to think somebody has your name and your address,” said David Quinlan, a spokesman for the Better Business Bureau.

Quinlan said that victims should contact their credit card companies before crooks have a chance to strike twice.

“You can always put a fraud alert on your credit cards if you’re worried about identity being compromised,” he said.

A witness told police that the crooks got away in a white Trans Am.

Cops said drivers can black out the address on your registration and it will still be valid.

Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest in this case; call them at 1-800-222-TIPS.