Local News

Police pass out free clubs to deter car thieves

SPOKANE, Wash. - Auto theft in the city of Spokane is down 13-percent compared to this time last year and Spokane Police say they want to build off that momentum and keep those numbers moving down.

To that end the department hosted Coffee With A Cop Wednesday morning, where officers took a proactive approach to stopping car thieves. Police received a grant from the state to purchase 250 clubs and passed them out for free.

Randy Adams was one of the first in line after hearing about the giveaway on TV Wednesday morning. Adams' vehicle, a 90's era Dodge Caravan was one of about 11 on a list of frequently stolen vehicles. Owners of those cars got one a free club, worth $25, and some peace of mind.

"I live up in Hillyard and it is a danger area and I am actually not working right now, I try to keep an eye on my car at night but I have got to sleep sometime. Thieves work 24-7 so I am really happy that this program is here," Adams said.

Adams says he probably would have stopped by for Coffee With A Cop anyway as he's pretty happy with his neighborhood police.

"They have shown me a full effort ever since I have lived up here and I have been here for two and a half years in the Hillyard area. They're top of the line," he said.

Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub is happy to hear that. He's was also more than happy to share the latest car theft numbers for Spokane.

"We are having a great year, very good enforcement efforts by our officers have reduced vehicle theft by 13-percent citywide," Straub said.

But Straub admitted his officers can only do so much.

"Enforcement is only a piece of the puzzle; the other piece is education, the other piece is giving out tools that will help prevent auto theft," he said.

That means arming people like Randy Adams, people who refuse to become victims.

"Absolutely, absolutely, and it is just people getting tired of being stolen from," Adams said.