Monthly Archives: June 2011

Car theft: We’re No. 8

And that’s not No. 8 in a good way. The Bremerton-Silverdale area ranks in that spot for most car thefts among areas in the state.

But that’s much lower than the state’s No. 1 spot for car theft — Spokane — an area ranked fourth in the nation overall for the crime.

Here’s the release from the NW Insurance Council. Be sure to note the tips below to help you safeguard your own vehicle.

Washington continues to be a hotbed for auto thieves with a 9.8 percent jump in auto thefts last year, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s annual Hot Spots Report released today.

Spokane ranked fourth-highest in the nation for auto theft rates, up from 18th in 2009.  The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area jumped to 13th from 37th and leads the state with more than 55 percent of all auto thefts, increasing 18.8 percent since 2009.  Yakima remains in the top ten, falling from sixth in 2009 to tenth last year.

In 2010, 29,298 vehicles were reported stolen in Washington, a 9.8 percent increase from 26,684 in 2009.  That’s an average of 80 stolen vehicles per day and more than three vehicles per hour.

Auto theft is a costly crime that vehicle owners pay for through their insurance premiums.  In 2009, auto theft cost more than $170 million in Washington.

“Consumers in America pay billions each year for auto theft,” said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. “The cost to replace stolen vehicles and repair those that are recovered is reflected in your insurance rates. That makes stopping auto theft important to all of us.”

Vehicle theft is the nation’s number-one property crime, costing an estimated $5.2 billion in 2009, according to the FBI.  The average value of a motor vehicle reported stolen in 2009 was $6,505.

Here are the Washington cities with the highest theft rates:

1.     Spokane                                  2,763                           586.35
2.     Yakima                                   1,266                           520.49
3.     Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue       16,192                         470.72
4.     Portland-Vancouver-Hillsb.   6,860                           308.17
5.     Longview                                293                              286.10
6.     Olympia                                  468                              185.52
7.     Mount Vernon-Anacortes      202                              172.80
8.     Bremerton-Silverdale             396                              157.69
9.     Kennewick-Pasco-Richland   392                              154.73
10.  Wenatchee-E. Wenatchee      153                              137.98
*The theft rate is based on the number of thefts per 100,000 inhabitants using 2009 U.S. Census data.

Here are Washington’s most stolen vehicles, according to NICB statistics:
1.     1992 Honda Accord
2.     1995 Honda Civic
3.     1990 Toyota Camry
4.     1995 Acura Integra
5.     1993 Subaru Legacy
6.     1994 Nissan Sentra
7.     1993 Dodge Caravan
8.     1994 Saturn SL
9.     1994 Ford Explorer
10.  1995 Nissan Pathfinder

NW Insurance Council offers the following tips to help you reduce the risk of your vehicle being stolen:

Keep your doors locked and windows completely rolled up.

Remove keys from the ignition, even when briefly stepping away from your car.

Keep valuable items such as bags, purses, cell phones and briefcases out of sight.

Always park your vehicle in well-lit areas.

Always activate your vehicle’s security or alarm system when parked.

Before buying a new vehicle, check with your insurance company to find out which vehicles have the highest risk of theft.

If you witness or have knowledge of an auto theft, contact your local law enforcement agency.  In some cases, auto theft is a form of insurance fraud when automobile owners arrange to have their vehicles stolen with hopes of collecting the insurance money.

If you know of anyone who has filed a false insurance claim, you may be eligible for a fraud award up to $5,000 offered by NW Insurance Council.  Call the Fraud Hotline at 800-TEL-NICB.  For more information about the Hot Spots Report  and insurance fraud, call (800) 664-4942 or visit NW Insurance Council.

NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Police plan summer emphasis in the hunt for roadway drunks

The good news: Summer is almost here (hard to believe, I know). The bad news: summertime is sadly the deadliest time of year for car crashes involving intoxicated drivers. In light of that reality, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission is helping push DUI emphasis patrols that will put more police on the streets between June 24 and July 4.

Here’s the press release:

Kitsap County, WA – Washingtonians are preparing for summer fun. Celebrations that involve alcohol sometimes result in drunk drivers on our roads. So, after beach parties, barbecues, or an evening at the bar, don’t drive if you have been drinking. If you drive hammered, you will get nailed!

Traffic deaths that involve a drunk and/or drugged driver are highest during the summer months in Washington. From 2005 through 2009, more than 20 percent of all impaired driver-involved traffic deaths occurred during June and July. That is why extra DUI patrols will take place throughout Kitsap County from June 24 through the 4th of July Holiday.

In Kitsap County, DUI Patrols will be increased though a grant funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) and supported by the Kitsap County Target Zero Task Force.

“Encouragingly, 2010 preliminary data shows that the number of deaths involving a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs decreased by 17 percent from the previous 5-year average of 276. I think this shows that more of Washington’s citizens are choosing to drive sober. However, with 229 deaths, we still have a long way to go. Even one life lost as a result of an impaired driver is unacceptable,” said Lowell Porter, Director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

Law enforcement officers statewide advise everyone to choose their ride carefully!  Plan ahead – designate a sober driver, take a taxi because if you drive impaired, your ride may well be a police car taking you directly to jail!

For additional information about the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, visit

Followup: Humane society responds to dog owner’s claims

The Kitsap Humane Society released a lengthy statement Wednesday pertaining to Bremerton resident Doug Bolds’ allegations about how his dog was handled when Bolds was arrested for DUI in June 2010.

Here’s their release:

June 15, 2011 – Silverdale, WA – In 2010, Kitsap Humane Society successfully reunited nearly 600 pets with their owners. We prefer that all companion animals remain with their original owner so long as the animal is well provided for. We make every attempt to return animals to their owners, including microchip scanning, lost and found audio report (available by calling the shelter) and lost and found online report. We also hold all stray animals for 96 hours before they are available for adoption to give owners an opportunity to locate them at the shelter and reclaim them. We follow these guidelines for a stray animal or an animal of someone who has been arrested or incarcerated.

In addition, for an incarcerated citizen, our standard operating procedure is to fax an owner release form to the correctional facility where the owner is being held. We then hold the animal for five days to give them adequate time to make arrangements to pick up their animal. We handle these types of situations on a weekly basis. Unless the owner has been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty charges, we make every effort to reunite animals with their owners.

According to Doug Bolds’ statements to the Kitsap Sun, he claims Kitsap Humane Society adopted his dog out without giving him the opportunity to reclaim it. There is ambiguity surrounding the allegations made by Bolds as there are no microchip or license records indicating he is the original owner of the dog, despite the fact that pet licensing is required by law. Our records do indicate the dog arrived at KHS on June 3, 2010 and was adopted 14 days later. We have no records indicating that Bolds made any attempt to contact KHS, either directly or through friends or family during this time period, though the dog was in a kennel in a public area of our shelter until it was adopted.

We do, however, have a record of a subsequent contact between Bolds and one of our officers in January 2011. Bolds was a bystander in an unrelated case. In the course of the investigation, Bolds accused the officer of taking his dog in June (the officer was not involved in the original case) and adopting it to someone else the next day. Bolds told the officer that “the troopers” told him KHS had adopted the dog out the day after it was impounded. The officer told Bolds that KHS would not have done so; that the shelter holds animals for a minimum of five days before adopting them out. The officer gave Bolds Animal Welfare Director, Stacey Price’s phone number and instructed him to call her. When Bolds called Stacey, he was belligerent and verbally abusive before hanging up on her, refusing to answer any of her questions. This was the last interaction we had with Bolds.

Kitsap Humane Society has been serving the communities of Kitsap County since 1908 and is an independent nonprofit, currently providing Animal Control contract services to Kitsap County, Bremerton, Bainbridge Island, Port Orchard, Poulsbo and Naval Base Kitsap.