It’s a situation that is all to common for residents of Puyallup.
As you walk out to your driveway, you notice there’s something missing. Whether it’s a trail of glass left behind or something vanishing without a trace, vehicle theft in the city is a notorious problem.
However, officials with the Puyallup Police Department are hopeful that as National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month draws to a close, drivers will take the needed precautions to protect themselves from a vehicle theft happening to them or somebody they know.
While Puyallup sees a steady number of vehicle thefts year-round, July is the month nationwide where more cars are stolen than any other month. With warmer weather comes the inclination to leave windows down, leaving those vehicles as easy targets for thieves.
In 2014, there were 647 vehicle break-ins and 264 vehicle thefts reported in Puyallup, according to Capt. Scott Engle.
“Roll your windows all the way up, lock your vehicle, keep your valuables out of your car and secure them in your trunk, and park in well-lit areas with high visibility,” Engle said of ways to prevent vehicle theft and prowls.
The department is active year-round to help keep vehicle related thefts down, but Engle stressed that officers can’t be everywhere. Vehicle related thefts typically happen in less than 60 seconds, with the thieves usually long gone before an officer arrives at the scene of the crime.
“We really rely on the public to be our eyes and ears,” he continued. “Call, call, call. If anything looks suspicious or if you see someone fiddling with the car, please call us.”
With the South Hill Mall, Good Samaritan Hospital and the Puyallup Fairgrounds all within city limits, it’s not too much of a surprise Puyallup is a magnet for theft, but the crime is very preventable.
Engle also recommended the purchase of car clubs and auto alarms.
“It really can’t hurt to have those extra ounces of protection,” he said.
For additional information, call 253-841-5531 or visit www.puyalluppolice.org.