31,011 cars reported stolen in Washington this year

According to the Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force, during the month of September, more than 1,431 cars were reported stolen in King County and over 705 in Pierce County.

That’s an average of about 71 car thefts a day.

Officials say Kia and Hyundai’s are highly sought after by thieves.

“I worry because that’s what kind of car I have is what’s being stolen,” said Cathy Homer of Burien.

Homer says they’ve tried to steal her car.

“They had stolen our starter out of our Elantra… They did it underneath so we didn’t notice it right away till we tried to start it,” said Homer.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department says stolen cars are often used in other crimes.

“The majority of the Kia’s and Hyundai’s are being stolen by a younger group of people. They are being used in these smash-and-grabs along with armed robberies. When the victims get their cars back they are totally trashed,” said Sgt. Darren Moss.

When looking at last year’s data, car thefts have slightly dipped statewide.

The report shows there was a peak during the summer months this year, but numbers are down since August in Pierce and King counties.

Officials say drivers should consider using tracking devices, and strongly urge those living in apartments to make this a priority because these complexes are a top target for car thieves.

“Tracking devices would work, definitely would be hopeful because it would help police find the car faster, and the owners,” said Quan Brown of Tacoma.

For those who have a Hyundai and Kia, officials strongly recommend they use steering wheel locks.