More than 600 cars were stolen in the Bremerton-Silverdale area last year, nearly two a day. Sounds bad, but that was middle of the pack for Northwest cities, according to the Northwest Insurance Council.
Yakima not only topped the state rankings but was fifth in the nation in the number of car thefts per 100,000 inhabitants, at 674.2. Spokane (568.3) was 9th, an improvement over No. 4 last year. All of the other top 10 cities are in California.
Rounding out Washington’s top 10 were:
3. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 15,806 (445 per 100,000)
4. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro 7,485 (326.9)
5. Bremerton 634 (248.6)
6. Longview 240 (235.3)
7. Olympia-Tumwater 552 (213.68)
8. Mount Vernon-Anacortes 221 (186.9)
9. Walla Walla 109 (171.9)
10. Kennewick-Richland 452 (168.5)
Overall, Washington had a 5.9 percent increase from 2011, reversing a pattern of steady decreases. In 2012, 30,597 vehicles were reported stolen in the state. That’s an average of 84 per day and more than three each hour. Vehicle theft is the nation’s No. 1 property crime.
The National Insurance Council, to no surprise, suggests you buy comprehensive coverage in case your car gets swiped. I hate to be a shill for them, but it was nice when my wife’s car got stolen from an airport parking lot years ago. They found it a long ways away in a neighborhood, with the air bags gone and the ignition broken. Got it all repaired just for the deductible. I couldn’t believe air bags are so expensive. Otherwise, people wouldn’t steal them.
It doesn’t help that my old Honda Accord is among the most frequently stolen rigs in history. Now it’s got more than 250,000 miles on it, is worn out and I leave it unlocked hoping somebody will take it.