Car thefts up in Auburn, police say

Auto thieves plying their dubious trade in Auburn have rolled away with an average of 58 cars and trucks every month to date in 2014.

Should the average hold, by the end of the year thieves will have parted 696 cars from their owners.

That sobering estimate is one part of a recent Auburn Police Department report that measures auto thefts in Auburn over the last 10 years. Assistant Police Chief Bill Pierson presented the numbers to City leaders Monday afternoon at Auburn City Hall.

Within the report's time frame, the high water mark for auto thefts in Auburn was 869 in 2005. The number of thefts began to drop after 2007, the year King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg launched his anti-auto theft initiative, aimed at sticking repeat offenders with longer jail sentences.

In 2009, only 369 auto thefts were reported to police in Auburn.

"Now those offenders are getting out of the jail, and the numbers are going up again," Pierson said.

The report also measured auto thefts in South King County in cities with populations above 70,000. Between 2004 and 2013, the City of Kent averaged 984 auto thefts, Federal Way 921, Renton 729 and Auburn 643.

Pierson said the cars that thieves have most frequently targeted Auburn during the past two years are 1990s model Honda Accords. Number 2 is the Honda Civic, followed by the Acura Integra, the Toyota Camry and the Nissan Sentra.

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