KTTH OPINION

Suits: Of course auto thefts are up, police aren’t allowed to stop them

Apr 19, 2023, 1:37 PM

Photo: Washington State Patrol pulled over thousands of distracted drivers last year who are probab...

Washington State Patrol pulled over thousands of distracted drivers last year who are probably now facing higher insurance rates. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Patrol)

(Photo courtesy of Washington State Patrol)

Washington auto theft rates are on the rise, and a big part of the problem is police not getting the tools they need to stop criminals, Bryan Suits claimed.

On The Bryan Suits Show, host Bryan and producer Greg Tomlin talked about how vehicle theft rates are increasing due to police not having the ability to stop the thefts.

Suits: ‘Stop calling it an epidemic’ with assault weapons ban likely

Car theft is becoming an even bigger problem, with Washington ranked second in vehicle theft rate, according to data obtained by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

At a rate of about 15 out of every 1,000 vehicles registered being stolen, vehicle theft in Washington saw an increase of 13% from last year. This is a 73% increase from the start of the pandemic, the report said,

“That’s a clever way for the news media to characterize the surge in car thefts over the past two and a half years, saying that it has gone up since the pandemic began,” Greg said. “I think what all these headlines should be saying is since the BLM riots of 2020.”

Final changes to the highly debated police pursuit bill were approved by the state Senate Monday and are now headed to the Governor’s desk for his action.

With new amendments to the legislation, the bill would allow police to pursue a suspect if they have a “reasonable suspicion” that a crime has been committed, specifically in cases involving violent offenses, sex offenses, vehicular assault, an escape, domestic violence assaults, and DUI.

Reasonable suspicion, as applied in Washington search and seizure laws, defines as “present when the officer has an objective belief, based on specific and articulable facts.”

The previous version of the bill required ‘probable cause’ to engage in a pursuit, which requires clear and objective circumstances or evidence suggesting criminal activity.

More from Bryan Suits: ‘J. Edgar Hoover would slap TikTok across the face’ in hearings

“You add fuel to the fire with the knowledge that the police can’t pursue you, right?” Bryan said, “I mean, if you paid me to come up with a way to raise the auto theft rate in Washington state, I would say, ‘take the lights off the cop cars and don’t let them chase people.'”

“So remember, The Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force reminds you to remove or hide all valuables, lock your car, don’t leave keys or fobs inside, and don’t drive a Kia because the kids are stealing Kias all over the place,” Bryan concluded.

You can listen to the full discussion of the rising rate of car thefts here:


Listen to the Bryan Suits Show weekday mornings from 6–9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Suits: Of course auto thefts are up, police aren’t allowed to stop them