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It was a busy weekend for thieves in Lake Oswego.

Not only were six vehicles targeted in the Westlake and Mountain Park neighborhoods, but police said just about every house on Oriole Lane was hit in a mail-theft spree.

“I hear people say they leave their cars unlocked so they won’t get the window broken” during a theft, Lake Oswego Police Sgt. Tom Hamann said. “The truth is, criminals don’t usually break a window just to look around. But if a car’s unlocked, people will get in and look around.”

Most of the car break-ins were reported Friday night, Hamann said, and always because a cell phone or laptop was visible inside. Such thefts aren’t that unusual, he added — last week’s Police Log in The Review included reports of several break-ins, for example — but they do tend to increase around the holidays when presents are often left visible in vehicles.

“Mountain Park is a nice neighborhood, but it’s right on the border of Portland and Lake Oswego,” Hamann said. “Many years ago, we would get car break-ins there all the time by people from Portland. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was still the case.”

Westlake and other neighborhoods have also been hit by car prowls recently, as has the city's downtown core. In each instance, thieves walked away with laptops, cell phones, bags, purses or wallets. The message should be clear, police said: Lock your car, and take your valuables with you.

Mail theft has been less common, but law enforcement officials took several reports on Saturday from homeowners on Oriole Lane and later found mail belonging to about a dozen victims scattered in the surrounding area.

“We had somebody find some mail left in the bark dust,” Hamann said, adding that anyone who suspects mail may have been stolen should first confirm with the post office to see if mail was delivered to their address. If it was, report the theft to police, Hamann said, and keep an eye on credit reports for any changes that might indicate identity theft.

— The Review

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