They’re taking cars. Going on short rides. Stealing your stuff from them. And then dumping the evidence.
Thieves have taken 30 cars in as many days in the East Bremerton area, prompting a Kitsap County Sheriff’s detectives’ investigation. But while the investigators dig into the case, chances are more cars will be taken.
Courtesy of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, here’s some useful tips to safeguard yourself from car theft, as well as what to do if you become a victim of such a crime. But first a few links: hear the story of two victims of car theft here and here, and see the list of the most stolen cars in the nation here.
- When leaving your vehicle, regardless of the length of time, remove the key from the ignition, close all windows and lock the doors!
- Install smooth, non-flared locking buttons on car doors.
- At night, park in a well lit area. When at home, and if equipped, park your vehicle inside of a garage.
- Remove personal identifying items from your car when you get out: wallets, driver license, credit cards, check books, other identification cards, etc. These items, once stolen, can be used to commit crimes involving fraud, forgery or identity theft.
- Do not leave personal articles (cameras, i-Pods, GPS devices) in plain view.
- Take them with you or lock them in the trunk.
- Additional security may be obtained by installing a vehicle security system or
- other anti-theft device, such as steering wheel or brake pedal locking device.
If your vehicle is stolen:
Call 9-1-1 and report the theft to law enforcement immediately.
Provide the investigating sheriff’s deputy or police officer with the following information:
Vehicle license plate number
Vehicle identification number (VIN), if possible.
Year, make, model and color of vehicle.
Any personal identifying marks, such as bumper / window decals
or obvious damage.
A list of items contained in the vehicle.
Circumstances surrounding the vehicle, ie: last known location before theft, last driver, any suspicious activity or other information.
Persons with any information about the car thefts are asked to
Detective Chad Birkenfeld at (360) 337-5619.
Those who wish to remain anonymous may contact Crime Stoppers of
at (800) 222-8477.