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New report: Washington ranks third in nation for auto theft

Last week, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its 2022 Vehicle Theft Trend Report. The report found that in 2022, a total of 1,001,967 vehicles were reported stolen nationwide. Washington ranks third in the nation for most vehicles stolen, behind California and Texas, which have significantly larger populations. From 2019 to 2022, the vehicle theft rate in Washington increased by 31%. The only other state that saw a greater increase was Illinois (35%). When it comes to metropolitan areas, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area ranked 7th in the nation with 30,572 vehicles stolen. This number is up by 30% compared to 2021. Like the state rankings, the only metropolitan area that saw a larger increase was the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area (40%).

Our team is out there every day working to tackle this problem, but there are also things you can do to lessen your risk of becoming a victim:

  • Remove or hide all valuables
  • Lock your car
  • Don’t leave keys or fobs inside
  • Don’t leave your vehicle running unattended (exhaust in cold months makes these vehicles easy to spot)
  • Use anti-theft devices (alarm, kill switch, steering wheel lock)
  • Park in well-lit areas

While it’s important for all vehicle owners to consider using an anti-theft device, we strongly encourage residents of apartment complexes to make this a priority because these complexes are a top target for car thieves. Steering wheel locks are strongly recommended for owners of Hyundai and Kia models that are vulnerable to theft. For a list of police departments distributing free locks, please visit our blog post.