Yakima Police See Overnight Auto Theft Trend - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Yakima Police See Overnight Auto Theft Trend

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It's no secret that Yakima deals with a high rate of stolen cars. In fact, the area ranks fifth in the nation in auto thefts per capita, but police said the month of March saw an even bigger hit than usual. It's no secret that Yakima deals with a high rate of stolen cars. In fact, the area ranks fifth in the nation in auto thefts per capita, but police said the month of March saw an even bigger hit than usual.

YAKIMA, WA - It's no secret that Yakima deals with a high rate of stolen cars. In fact, the area ranks fifth in the nation in auto thefts per capita, but police said the month of March saw an even bigger hit than usual. 140 cars were stolen during the month of March.

Yakima Police said they've noticed a significant increase in auto thefts east of 16th Avenue. Korey Ward said this make him uneasy since he parks his car in that area to get to school.
     
"It's very disturbing," said Ward. "I got to park here everyday to go to school, and to know that when I come out of class possibly my car's been broken into. Doesn't sit well with me."

"I left my car unlocked, and it looked like somebody had rifled through it," said Andre Martirossian. "But I don't leave anything in my car to be taken so I was lucky. It's kind of funny because it was in the broad daylight and by houses, but it only takes a matter of seconds."

Other's haven't been so lucky, and police said most of them are Honda owners. Police say Honda models make up about 50 percent of the cars reported stolen in March. Hondas have an ignition style that makes them more vulnerable to theft.

Police said Honda owners should take more precautions like parking inside secured garages or using extra security devices like steering wheel locks.

"I know that police are doing their jobs and stuff so I think as citizens we should do our job as well by kind of protecting ourselves and being aware," said Martirossian.

Police said they've made multiple arrests for auto theft, but unfortunately, the trend seems to be continuing.

Police also said that almost half the cars stolen across the state have keys left in them by owners or doors left unlocked. Police said if we make it harder for thieves to steal cars, then auto theft reports will go down.

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YAKIMA, WA - Yakima Police are asking everyone to make it more difficult for thieves to steal your car.

Police say in the last month, there has been a significant increase in the number of auto thefts. Most of the vehicles were stolen during the overnight hours, east of 16th Avenue. Half were Hondas, possibly because Hondas have an ignition style that can make them more vulnerable to theft. 

Police say they have made several arrests in response to the increase in stolen vehicles, but the trend seems to be continuing.  

Officers are urging vehicle owners, particularly owners of Hondas, to take extra precautions to protect their property.  Parked inside a secured garage if possible. If you can't, Police encourage using extra security devices, like a steering wheel lock.

"Everyone can significantly decrease the possibility that their car will be stolen by just following a common sense approach," said Yakima Police Chief Dominic Rizzi.  "Almost half the cars stolen in our state have keys left in them by their owners.  Almost half of the cars stolen are unlocked," said Rizzi.  "If we can make it harder for thieves to steal cars, fewer cars will be stolen."  

For more tips to prevent auto theft, head to the Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority website by clicking here.