1,541 cars stolen in King, Pierce counties in April; WA car thefts down 24% statewide

In April, Pierce and King counties witnessed a decline in auto theft incidents, with The Auto Theft Task Force - Puget Sound reporting a total of 1,541 stolen vehicles, averaging approximately 51 thefts per day across the two counties.

Pierce County reported 393 stolen vehicles, while King County recorded 1,148 thefts during the month, marking a significant reduction compared to previous months.

"We continue to see a steady decline in the number of auto thefts," the Auto Theft Task Force - Puget Sound said in a Facebook post Thursday. "We believe this is due, in part, to several key arrests of 'KiaBoys' who were operating throughout the region and stealing numerous vehicles each week."

Law enforcement agencies emphasized their ongoing efforts to combat auto theft and urged the community to take preventive measures to reduce the risk of becoming victims.

"Remove or hide all valuables, lock your car, and don’t leave keys or fobs inside," advised the post. It also said, "don’t leave your vehicle running unattended, especially during cold months when exhaust makes these vehicles easy to spot."

The post further recommended the use of anti-theft devices such as alarms, kill switches and steering wheel locks, particularly for residents of apartment complexes, which are often targeted by car thieves.

"Steering wheel locks are strongly recommended for owners of Hyundai and Kia models that are vulnerable to theft," the Auto Theft Task Force - Puget Sound post said. "Even with software upgrades, using a steering wheel lock serves as a visual deterrent and can prevent damage to your vehicle during theft attempts."

In addition to physical deterrents, authorities suggest utilizing GPS trackers like Air Tags or Tile devices to aid in vehicle recovery in the event of theft.

Statewide, there have been 10,621 vehicles reported stolen in 2024, representing a notable decrease of 23.5% compared to the previous year.

In a continued effort to reduce thefts among Kia vehicles, the automobile manufacturer is partnering with local dealers to host two free anti-theft software update events this weekend. 

Technicians will be at Factoria and Tacoma malls Friday through Sunday to help install the software updates. 


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