Vehicle theft. It's always been a big problem in Yakima and throughout the county. During the COVID-19 pandemic authorities saw stolen vehicle numbers plunge because so many people were staying home. But now the numbers are back up with thieves getting busy once again.

The stolen vehicle numbers are already high in Yakima so far this year

On average Yakima Police say they see between 400 to 700 vehicles stolen within Yakima city limits every year. Authorities say the city is already approaching a high number of thefts. Through July of this year Yakima Police say 336 vehicles have been stolen within Yakima city limits.
During the same time last year the number was 252 stolen vehicles. So police say if the pace keeps up it's likely we could see upwards of 700 or more vehicles stolen this year. Police say they see a lot of vehicles stolen in the fall the winter months.

Like to warm up your vehicle? Police say it's legal in your driveway but lock the doors

Many of the vehicles are stolen as people warm up unlocked vehicles in driveways. Police urge drivers who do that to get an extra set of keys or purchase a remote starter to avoid becoming a victim of theft. They say it's legal to warm up your vehicle in your driveway but no on a city street.
Yakima Police say many people know auto theft is a problem so they lock car doors. But others are careless and that leads to theft.
Police now say some thieves aren't stealing vehicles but are now busy cutting catalytic converters from underneath vehicles. It's not just a problem in Yakima but all around the state.

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