According to the Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force, agencies reported more than 1,600 cars stolen in King County last month and 909 cars stolen in Pierce County. If I had been asked how many cars had been stolen in King County last month, I would have guessed 200, but 1,600 cars stolen - wow!
King County reported 1,455 stolen vehicles in 2022 compared to Pierce County's 905. The task force says more than 45,000 vehicles were stolen across Washington in 2022.
Last year, Seattle and Pierce County were warned about a rapid rise in Kia and Hyundai thefts.
Due to a lack of an engine immobilizer device and well-known social media exploits, vehicles manufactured between 2011 and 2021 are at an elevated risk for theft.
It was alleged last month that both car manufacturers failed to address a known public safety issue, according to Seattle's city attorney. Between 2021 and 2022, thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles surged by 363 percent and 503 percent in Emerald City, according to the city attorney's office.
The Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force encourages vehicle owners to be vigilant and reduce their risk of becoming targets, including:
- All valuables should be removed or hidden.
- Making sure your car is locked.
- Keep keys and fobs out of the vehicle.
- Don't leave your vehicle running unattended (exhaust is easy to spot in cold months).
- Utilizing anti-theft devices (alarm, dead switch, steering wheel lock).
- Make sure you park in a well-lit area.
- Simple steering wheel locks can also be purchased by car owners, which officials recommend especially for Kia and Hyundai drivers at higher theft risk.
Did anyone know that we had Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force? Another taxpayer-funded body that should be eliminated. Like most political bodies in the Puget Sound that the taxpayers pay, when implemented, the focus issue seems to get drastically worse, not better.
At the end of the day, as car owners, it's our responsibility to protect our possessions. It seems ridiculous to be focused on the manufacture when every older car passed the age of 10 yrs doesn't come with theft protection. If people want to pay for additional theft protection, they can always do that. Like many things today, instead of focusing on the real issue - people stealing and breaking into vehicles - politicians want to blame others that have nothing to do with the issue.
Based on current political trends, the next fix to reduce car thefts will be to make car thefts legal...