Vehicle theft is one problem that just won't go away in the city of Yakima. Every fall and winter the theft rates shoot up dramatically because of what police call warm up auto thefts. In 2017 581 vehicles were stolen within Yakima city limits. So far this year the number stands at 453. Many are taken while they're warming up in the driveway. Yakima Police spokesman Mike Bastinelli says if you leave your car running in the street or driveway to warm up you're just risking getting your car stolen. "thieves are just looking for an easy way to steal a car."
He says if you need to warm up your car get an extra set of keys and lock the doors. Bastinelli says a number of vehicles were stolen from neighborhoods over the past weekend.
Police say it is legal to warm up your unlocked vehicle on your private property your driveway.