Car thefts, prowls soaring in parts of Pierce County: Mom-to-be tells her story

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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.

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  • The Decider

    I had my car stolen Jan 2014, got back the frame 3 days later and had to pay a $500 fee because they towed it and then informed us it had been found. I think anyone found running or aiding a chop shop should be put before a fireing squad.

  • david

    I know it is too late to tell you this but the honda accord is the NUMBER 1 stolen car in the US
    do not buy another one!

  • Tattooed_Angel

    I live in Pierce County and had my car broken into a month ago. They stole some perfume, a couple cases of Mtn Dew, my car stereo remote (but not the stereo) and a brand new pair of boots I had just bought that day but forgot were in my trunk. The thieves left my passenger door and trunk open which I think they did because they didn’t want to risk making noise by shutting them.

    Every single day I go back to the store where I purchased the boots in hopes that the idiots are stupid enough to try to return them for the cash since I left the receipt in the box. I also check Craigslist. So far no luck but I won’t give up.

    Cops didn’t do shht. Wouldn’t even come out and take a report. I have since installed a motion sensor security light and sleep with my bedroom window cracked. I sure hope the thieves come back and try again. I’ve got some frozen paintballs in the freezer and killer aim. And those suckers hurt like a mothereffer!

  • Cheng Mondex

    umm how come her husband can’t help her, Ooops no husband ? you enjoy yourself pay for yourself, end of story.. bring a baby into the world no education ( if she was smart she wouldn’t have bought a 1500 buck car in the first place ) next we’ll have to feed her babies, and buy her a house, NO, NO more you have kids you can not afford get an abortion and take the bus.

    • Brittney smothers-edwards

      Actually I’m a full time student getting my bachelors degree. And I didn’t think my baby deserved to be aborted but thanks for your input.

    • The Decider

      So quick to pass judgment on others and assume they are uneducated; yet did you read what you wrote? What language do you speak? Jibber jabber? Did it occur to you that many hard working people choose to buy what is called a commuter car? You scoff at a $1500 car, yet in her case, it happens to be one of the most desired cars, thus someone stole it from her? From how uneducated you sound it seems as though tax payer dollars and handouts go to you. Read a book. You might learn a thing or two. Like how “1500 buck” doesn’t make sense. Good day.

    • The Decider

      Also, you so easily say she should off her baby, when one could very reasonably argue your mother should have done that very thing while carrying you.

  • Joe Kammel

    ““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.”

    LOL cars don’t have distributors anymore. Ya hear alarms all the time an people become desensitized to them. What you need is a hidden kill switch cheap but effective, but then again they may just tow it off