Spokane has received national recognition, but not what people might be hoping for. The Lilac City continues to rank as one of the worst cities in the country for car theft.
In fact Spokane is the only Washington city in the Top 10 for stolen cars.
Part of the problem is people warming their unattended cars in the winter. Another part is Spokane's meth addiction.
However another problem is that Spokane is a working class community, and many residents have older cars that are easier to steal because the tumblers inside door locks are worn down and can be picked with shaved keys.
Cecile Charles had her pickup truck parked outside her Monroe Street shop "The Heart of Spokane" when someone used a shaved key to steal it.
“A policeman told us that a shaved key had been used and that was probably the most common way as car gets stolen,” she said.
Car thieves use shaved keys to jiggle their way through the tumblers in your car door and unlock the handle. Hondas and other imports known for their longevity on the road are especially susceptible.
“They can be driven 20 to 30 years and the engine will still work, but sometimes the tumblers or other locks on the vehicles wear out with time and so that makes it more susceptible to being broken into and being stolen with shaved keys,” Spokane Police Lieutenant Steve Wohl said.
So if you're driving a car that is so old it can play tape cassettes on the stereo it's time you invested in a steering wheel lock like the club. They're easy to install and make it nearly impossible to drive off with your vehicle.
“Most of the time these thieves are looking for a quick easy target and so if they see that anti-theft device on there, they know it's going to be a challenge, they don't want to get caught,” Wohl said.
Spokane police say the car theft rate is actually down 11 percent from this time last year, in part because they are targeting car theft prone areas with more patrols and using GPS tracked bait cars to catch the more prolific crooks.