Gas Theft May be Up (But you Wouldn’t Know it From the Stats)

I recently got some statistics from the state’s Department of Licensing that I thought would illuminate the trend of increasing fuel theft.

I was wrong. Well, wrong that there’s been more convictions for motor vehicle theft.

A motor vehicle theft law that went into effect around 2003 in Washington brought on stiffer penalties for stealing gas — a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a six month suspension of a person’s license.

We know that gas is being stolen more often in these days of record high oil prices.

The only answer then, is this: we’re not catching gas thieves. Here are the stats so you can see for yourself:

Convictions in the state in:

2003 — 4
2004 — 10
2005 — 18
2006 –24
2007 — 14
2008 — 2

Obviously, maybe the courts (as usual) just needs time to get these offenders through the system. So the numbers could spike soon.

I asked how much Kitsap County is involved in the above statistics. Turns out we are fourth highest of all counties — albeit with only 6 convictions — from when the law was passed (Snohomish and Spokane lead the list with 9).

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