Auto theft explodes in WA (Newstalk870 stock image)
Auto theft explodes in WA (Newstalk870 stock image)
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Last July, a series of laws went into effect in WA state, pushed through by legislative Democrats at the bidding of Gov. Inslee.  At the time he signed them he claimed it was a "moral obligation" to 'reform' law enforcement across the state.

As we approach one year later, crime is rampant

WASPC graph showing auto thefts shooting up after new laws (WASPC)
WASPC graph showing auto thefts shooting up after new laws (WASPC)
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One of the areas most hurt is auto theft. In the past, LE officers could use pursuits, and reasonable suspicion to pursue auto theft suspects. But now, they cannot.  Officers must have what's called probable cause the person in the stolen vehicle committed a crime before they can chase.  They often have to interview the victim before they can begin pursuit.

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   WA Association of Sheriff's and Police Chiefs (WASPC) release shocking data

Wednesday, the WASPC released their latest crime report data concerning auto theft. Here are the shocking numbers, which began to climb immediately after the new laws went into place: (from the WASPC report)

  • "Vehicle thefts have increased 88 percent year-to-date for 2022 compared to 2021 through the end of March.
  • Vehicle thefts have increased 99 percent for March 2022 compared to March 2021
  •  Vehicle thefts have increased 93 percent since a number of new laws went into effect at the end of July 2021"

Kennewick has released its vehicle theft data, and it mirrors what's happening statewide:

  • March 2021 saw 9 thefts, March 2022 had 84
  • January through March 2021 vs. the same period this year saw thefts rise from 41 to 210,  a 412 percent increase!  

According to the WASPC:

"There were 26,520 vehicles stolen in 2020, and 31,032 in 2021. If current trends hold, WASPC estimates that without additional tools to change the current environment of criminal behavior, 2022 would end with over 50,000 vehicles stolen this year in the State of Washington."

Here is Kennewick's graph:

Kennewick auto thefts (KPD)
Kennewick auto thefts (KPD)
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Very little was done legislatively during the 2022 short-season session to remedy these issues.

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