There have been plenty of cold mornings this winter. How many people on one of those cold mornings want to get the car warmed up before heading to work? How many people have stopped off at the closest convenience store to grab a quick coffee and left the running? How many people think their neighborhood is safe and don’t lock their car doors at night?
All of these factors, and then some, contribute to car thefts. It is a statistic that Washington State has seen increase over the last few years. Some in law enforcement attribute the change in pursuit laws as a factor in the growing number of car thefts around the state.
How Bad Is It?
In 2020 Washington State had just over 368 car thefts per 1,000 people. In 2021 that number grew by almost 100 per 1,000 people to just under 462 thefts. In April of 2022, The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs put out a release stating that there were over 4,000 vehicles theft per month from January through March of 2022, with March peaking at 4,249 thefts.
By comparison, the largest amount of theft in the same time period in 2021 was 2,377 thefts in January 2021. In fact, there wasn’t a single month in 2021 that surpassed 4,000. If you look closer at the data you will see that after the pursuit laws went in to effect in July 2021, the number of thefts increased in every month except one.
What You Can Do To Prevent Your Car From Being Stolen
The State Legislature doesn’t seem interested in rolling back the current pursuit laws at this time, so it falls to you to be more engaged in preventing your vehicle from being stolen. The Kennewick Police Department recently put a reminder of their social media with steps you can take to deter a car thief.
This is no guarantee a thief will not attempt to steal your car, and may even be successful in doing so, but the more obstacles you place in a criminals way, the more likely they will be to pick a more vulnerable target.