The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office is alerting the public about the need to protect vehicles against theft.

The agency has republished a social media post from law enforcement in the Puget Sound area about combating vehicle theft, especially vulnerable Kias and Hyundais.

Anti-theft devices are especially recommended for residents of apartment complexes because those complexes are a top target for car thieves.

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There have been 31,011 stolen vehicles in Washington state so far this year, which averages out to 71 per day.

Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force
Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force

Deputies are strongly recommending the use of steering wheel locks for Hyundai and Kia models that are vulnerable to theft.

Even people who have already upgraded software are advised to use a steering wheel lock as a visual deterrent.

Multiple theft attempts are reported each day. Windows can be shattered and ignitions damaged before thieves realize a car cannot be stolen.

It's also recommended that a GPS tracker, such as an Air Tag or Tile, be left in vehicle so they can be tracked if stolen.

Recommendations to lessen risk of auto theft:

  • Remove or hide all valuables
  • Lock your car
  • Don’t leave keys or fobs inside
  • Don’t leave your vehicle running unattended (exhaust in cold months makes these vehicles easy to spot)
  • Use anti-theft devices (alarm, kill switch, steering wheel lock)
  • Park in well-lit areas

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