Car thefts, prowls soaring in parts of Pierce County: Mom-to-be tells her story
TACOMA — Car thieves are scoring big in Pierce County, where some areas are seeing double-digit increases.
Brittney Smothers-Edwards was one of the most recent victims.
“It makes me scared because somebody just came in the middle of the night,” she said Friday. “What if they broke into the house?”
On Thursday night, someone took off with the car she bought less than two months ago.
“Your car can get stolen from anywhere, I feel that people don’t care,” she said. “They just will come and steal your car. I mean, what are you going to do?”
Brittney said she spent $1,500 on a 2004 Honda Accord to replace her old lemon, but the car wasn’t only for herself.
“I’m ready to pop any minute now,” the expectant mother-to-be said. “The cop who came out and interviewed me was scared and said, 'Don’t go into labor right now.'”
Her due date is in a week. Now she’s out of a car and back to square one.
“It’s devastating to me.”
Car thefts are on the rise in Pierce County. The numbers are up 16% year-to-year in Tacoma, where nearly 100 were stolen in February alone. And the numbers are also up a whopping 29% year-to-year in University Place.
Tacoma police officer Loretta Cool said if drivers can’t spend a lot of money on LoJack or alarms, there are a few clever tricks to make sure you can find your car where you left it.
“I would go and talk to your mechanic, I’m sure if they looked under your hood, you could unplug the distributor cap, you could unplug the battery,” said Cool.
Brittney’s house does have surveillance cameras but her car was parked out of frame. Now she is hoping that friends and family members will help her get into another set of wheels.
“I don’t even know what I’m going to do,” she said.
It’s not just car thefts that are up; car prowls are also up nearly 30% year-to-year in University Place.
Police said if drivers don’t want their cars to be rifled through, they have to remember to remove everything in sight. Even leaving a coat in plain view is enough motivation for a crook to smash the windows.