Report: Average of 81 cars stolen daily in Pierce, King counties last month

Feb 8, 2023, 5:46 AM | Updated: 6:59 am
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
(Photo from KIRO 7)
(Photo from KIRO 7)

New numbers show auto thefts continue to be a big problem in Western Washington.

The Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force said that last month, there was an average of 81 vehicles reported stolen daily in King and Pierce counties combined.

Follow this link to read additional stories from KIRO

Most of January’s vehicle thefts were in King County, with 1,603 cars stolen, compared to Pierce County, where 909 cars were stolen.

January’s numbers show an increase from some months last year.

For instance, in November, there were 1,536 car thefts in King County and 862 in Pierce County. In January, car thefts increased by 114 across both counties.

Members of the task force said they’re noticing a trend of thieves targeting cars parked at apartment complexes.

In addition, Hyundais and Kias continue to be a favorite of thieves, who have learned how to start such vehicles from videos circulated on social media.

It’s unclear how many of the vehicles stolen last month were from those automakers, but on one day in December last year, more than half of all cars stolen in Pierce County were those makes.

The task force recommends that those living in apartments — especially those who own Kias or Hyundais — should consider using an anti-theft device in their cars such as an alarm, kill switch or steering wheel lock.

The task force also reminds drivers to:

  • Lock their car
  • Don’t leave keys or fobs inside
  • Don’t leave vehicles running unattended
  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Remove or hide all valuables

Last year, 45,033 vehicles were reported stolen statewide.

Follow this link to read additional stories from KIRO

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Report: Average of 81 cars stolen daily in Pierce, King counties last month