Pasco officials urge drivers to install preventative safety measures as car thefts rise

PASCO, Wash. — The last thing anyone wants is for their vehicle to be stolen but unfortunately in Washington, it’s an increasing issue for drivers.

According to the Washington Association for Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) latest data 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

“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,” the report said.

REPORT: Washington auto thefts spiked 93% since reform laws passed

Now, officials with McCurley Integrity Dealerships in Pasco are encouraging anyone with a car to install safety measures to prevent them from becoming the next victim.

“It’s so sad and it’s insane,” said Mikhaela Bryden, a sales consultant for the dealership. “With the thefts that have gone up significantly around here, I have people coming in all the time that have said that their vehicle has been stolen.”

If you’re in the market for your next car or want to upgrade your current one, Bryden recommends adding on a safety program.

For Subaru, the security program is called “STARLINK” and it tracks a vehicle’s location using satellite imagery.

“You can go onto the app, put in your information, your password, all of that, and it will show you exactly where your vehicle is at,” Bryden said. “[It’ll show] which spot it’s in, where you parked, what tree you’re next to, everything.”

If your vehicle is stolen, you can report it missing to the program’s manufacturers who will send a signal to the car and shut it down, thus preventing it from moving further away.

You can even send the program the police report number and the company will work with law enforcement to help track it down.

Bryden said the STARLINK program addition runs about $75 dollars — a flat fee for three years. Depending on the manufacturer, sometimes the service can be free.

“If they already have this in place then they can know who to contact and they can get their car recovered extremely quickly,” Bryden said. “Cars are not really the cheapest things these days and you want to make sure you put your money and your investments into something that’s not going to get stolen the next day.”

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