12 Cars Stolen in Yakima Over the Weekend - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

12 Cars Stolen in Yakima Over the Weekend

Posted: Updated:
YAKIMA, WA. -- Car theft rates have declined over the past few years in Yakima but that doesn't mean thieves have given up. There was a car theft spree over the weekend in some Yakima neighborhoods. 

We all know that car thefts are a problem around Yakima. But some of us still do things that make it easy for our car to be stolen.

Car thefts were nearly cut in half in 2013 compared to 2012. But that doesn't mean you car is always safe. This past weekend, 12 cars were stolen in Yakima. A number that caught the attention of the police department. 

"That is quite a high number," Captain Greg Copeland of the Yakima Police Department said. "Early to mid 90's Hondas are notorious for being stolen a lot around here and some models of Toyotas as well."

Five of the 12 cars were taken while they sat warming up in drive ways.

"A lot of people who have been surprised," Capt. Copeland said. "They don't think it'll happen to them. But low and behold, they look out and the car they started ten minutes ago and it's gone.

Police say, once those cars get on the road, it is extremely difficult to track them down. But in January, 8 license plate reader systems approved by city council will be installed. And then stolen vehicles will be much harder to hide. 

"The license plate readers will know if it's cameras capture that license plate that's stolen it will register immediately and the officer will know what's going on," Capt. Copeland said.

As it gets colder, you have two choices. Sit in your car while it warms up, or risk not being the next person behind the wheel.

The Yakima Police Department says it's very difficult to recover a stolen car because some people scrap them for parts, others take them to the West side to be sold and if they do stay in town, Yakima police officers have to enter the license plate manually to find out if it's a stolen car.

That is, until the license plate readers are installed.