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Kent Police warn residents of rise in car thefts

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KENT, Wash. -- By this time last year, there had been around 750 reported car thefts. This year, almost 1,200. That’s a 50 percent increase.

Kent police say part of the reason can be blamed on the growing opioid epidemic.

My opinion it’s an opioid addiction epidemic. People need money to buy drugs and then they'll steal cars, then they'll steal mail," Officer John Pagel said. “They'll do other crimes with that car too.”

Police say thieves are targeting import cars from the 90s like Hondas, Nissans and Toyotas.

Their ignition switches wear out over time making them easier to steal.

If you have one of those cars, police recommend getting a steering wheel club.