How to prevent auto theft after increase in Tri-Cities

More car thieves are out and about in the Tri-Cities, but there are ways that you can protect your vehicle from ending up in the hands of a criminal.

"I went inside, went to bed, didn't think anything about it. Next morning I get up to get ready for work and the car was gone," Performance Auto product specialist Amanda Woodcock said.

Unfortunately, for Woodcock, her car alarm never went off when her 3002x Nissan was stolen in 2009.

"It's one of those things you don't think about until it happens to you," Woodcock said.

When it does, it's a feeling Woodcock says you'll never forget.

"Wrenching feeling that’s in your stomach," Woodcock added.

Like many other Tri-City victims who have had their cars stolen, Woodcock filed a police report, her car was never found, and she was only left with an expensive lesson.

"The car itself when I got it was about $14,000 dollars," Woodcock said.

Woodcock only had her Nissan for three months before it was stolen, something Performance Auto mobile electronic specialist Ruperto Peraza says could have been avoided with the right after-market car security system.

"Digital shock sensors, as soon as it senses impact, first of all your alarm is going to freak out in the parking lot," Performance Auto mobile electronic specialist Ruperto Peraza said.

Then the two-way communication alarm will give you feedback on your key chain remote, pinpointing the exact location that your car is being tampered with, even notifying you on your phone as well.

"You don't always carry around your keys, but you always have your phone," Peraza said.

Most cars come with a standard stock alarm system, however, that doesn't mean you are in the clear.

If a thief breaks your window and unlocks the door your stock alarm will have your back but Peraza says most thieves are finding ways around your system.

"If it’s a smart thief they'll break your window and just get your belongings from the window not even open the door," Peraza added.

The only question remaining for drivers, is your car worth the investment to upgrade security?

"So we can always build a system for all kinds of price budgets, so you don't necessarily need the $800 dollar alarm," Peraza continued.

An investment that may have saved Woodcock $14,000.

"You know for the amount of money that you spend on a decent alarm and the amount of headache you may save yourself, it's worth the money," Woodcock concluded.

This week Kennewick already reported four car thefts while Richland and Pasco saw over one thousand car thefts combined in the past two years.

Remember to lock it up and don't leave your valuables in your car.

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