Auto Theft on Decline in Yakima
Car thefts have been down in Yakima according to a national report. The city has been ranked in the top ten for car thefts for the past seven years, but this year Yakima is ranked 19th nationwide for car theft rate.
Car thefts can happen in a blink of an eye, even when you stop at the mall for some quick shopping.
"I was at the mall for like twenty minutes, it was nine they were about to close and then came out and it was gone," said Michelle Marble who had car stolen.
Gone in twenty minutes. Yakima has had a reputation over recent years as a "hot spot" according to reports from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. This year Spokane makes it on the list of top ten hot spots while Yakima falls back to 19th with a thirty-percent decline in car thefts from 2012 to 2013. According to police there are a handful of suspects that routinely are involved in thefts
"For the most part we have a pool of car theives that seems to be their crime of choice so to speak, so ya the majority of our cars are generally stolen by a group of individuals that are well known to us," said Police Cpt. Rod Light.
Most cars stolen by general thieves are used as a personal taxi service.
"Often times it's a means to get from point a to point b, so they steal a car, drive it a few blocks and they're at their destination and they leave it," said Light
Although car theft percentages are down in the Yakima County area, it's still been a big problem over the past few years for a woman that i talked to earlier today, her car was stolen three years ago she found it three days later in Naches.
"I called my mom, she thought I was joking, and then we called the police and they came," said Marble
Sounds like the type of theif that police described to steal a car, bring it from point a to point b and leave it. When the cops came to report Michelle's stolen car they first made sure she knew where she left it.
"They asked if i parked somewhere else, i was like no.. this is where i parked. Then they just wrote down a report, sent it out on their a.P.'s or whatever it is.. they looked for it and then finally somebody called," said Marble.
The theif tried to take the radio out of the car but was unnseccessful, they did however leave Michelle a gift of sorts
"They also got a ticket too in my honda at Memorial hospital.. i found the reciept actually in my trunk," said Marble.
Michelle's car that was stolen was an older model Honda Accord. Hondas are typically one of the most sought after cars by thieves, especially older models that are easier to break into. Now Michelle has a newer Honda and doesn't feel worried about car theft being a problem again in the area.
"I'm happy that the rates went down"