Car Thefts Up In 2012

For years, Yakima has been near the top of the list when it comes to car thefts, and that trend may continue.

Yakima police say they saw a 60 percent increase in the number of car thefts in 2012 -- about 1,100 thefts last year compared to about 700 in 2011.

Yakima was number 5 in the U.S. for car thefts in 2011, and was tenth in 2010.

Police say a lot of those thefts occur in the morning.

"There are a tremendous amount of warmup auto thefts in the mornings, early morning hours," said Capt. Rod Light, "That is a big contributing factor to this total number for the year. It's not uncommon for us to get maybe 3 or four of those a morning."

"To me, that's not using very much common sense," said Patricia Byers, "If people are concerned about it , they really ought to. When I come home, even if I'm just in and out, park my car in the driveway quickly, I still always lock my car. I feel very safe and comfortable, and I think we need to practice common sense."

Police say a crime analyst has been assigned to identify the areas with the most car thefts, that information will be passed along to patrolling officers.