Spokane Police see car thefts go up nearly 90 percent compared to last year

SPOKANE, Wash.– The Spokane Police Department says car thefts are up nearly 90-percent over the past year.

Spokane Police released a report from March 19 that said so far in 2021, 378 cars have been stolen. During that same timeframe in 2021, 199 cars had been taken.

The neighborhood that saw the biggest increase was the Neva-Wood neighborhood, which extends from Division Street east to Crestline and from North Foothills to the North Division Y.

This year there have already been 71 cars taken from that area. Last year, that number was 25. Every area of the city has seen a rise in car thefts so far this year.

There are obvious ways to prevent you from becoming the next victim. Make sure to not leave any valuables in your car. Although it might be tempting you don’t want to leave your car running in your driveway or the street while you wait for it to warm up.

SPD said crime is a complex issue.

“There’s a lot of different factors. There’s been a lot of discussion about legislative changes, and the impact that certainly is a possible factor but there’s a variety of other factors as well,” Spokane Police Department’s public information officer Nick Briggs said.

Briggs said factors such as police reform laws. The pandemic also might be one of them, but Briggs says we won’t know the true impacts on crime statistics until years to come.

SPD says the economic climate, and population growth have also played a role.

“Vehicle theft is a property crime but it’s one that greatly affects people’s lives when somebody’s car is stolen people aren’t able to get to work. Sometimes people’s tools of the trade aren’t there. This is a significant hinder to people’s ability to conduct their life and something that we take seriously and that we’re going to continue to adapt and develop ways to try to combat this problem with the help of this community,” Briggs said.

Across the U.S., police have reported a rise in car thefts as gas prices reach record levels.

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