BONNEY LAKE, Wash. - Bonney Lake police hope a new set of wheels will help solve a recent spike in car prowls.
In the last five weeks, police have received break-in reports from eight car owners in the parking lots surrounding Fred Meyer, Goodwill and Safeway.
Police believe the prowlers are living in homeless camps in the 140 acres of woods behind those stores.
Until Tuesday, police had a hard time navigating through the thick brush.
"It's quiet and very effective," said Officer Daron Wolschleger, who took the department's new Kawasaki Mule into the woods for the first time Tuesday.
The four-wheel vehicle looks like a golf cart, but rugged tires enable it to blaze trails through the woods, letting police get to spots they could not reach on bikes or on foot.
Wolschleger did not make any arrests during the mule's first ride, but he said officers found items that may turn out to be stolen.
State Farm Insurance donated the mule to Bonney Lake PD.