Monday, November 12, 2007

Press Release: Do Not Leave Vehicles Running While Unattended

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Media Release / Informational Release

Type of Incident: Do Not Leave Vehicles Running While Unattended
Date of Incident: November 2, 2007

The sudden cold front has motorists warming up their cars in the morning. With the decrease in temperature we’ve had an increase in auto thefts. There were 17 auto thefts in 2006 and 12 so far this year that were stolen while running unattended.

The Federal Way Police Department would like to ultimately educate citizens on the common risks of auto theft. Also encourage the community to practice a few simple Crime Prevention tips to minimize the chances of potentially becoming a victim of auto theft. We continue to improve our efforts in the reduction of auto thefts in our city. A reminder to citizens of the RCW 46.61.600, unattended motor vehicles, which briefly states; it is unlawful to leave your vehicle running while unattended. An infraction of $124.00 could be exercised for this type of violation.

Crime Prevention Tips:
  • Do NOT leave valuables (purse, wallet, shopping bags, personal items, etc.) in your vehicles
  • Do NOT leave your vehicles running while unattended (this is also unlawful according to RCW46.61.600 )
  • Keep your car doors and windows locked AT ALL TIMES.
  • Purchase a “Steering Wheel CLUB” for your vehicle
  • Register your car with your local Law Enforcement Agency (ie: Watch Your Car)
Federal Way Police successes:

  • Created and published a Top Offender List, consisting of auto theft and theft related suspect names, to provide a coordinated and targeted focus for law enforcement attention.
  • Established a protocol for apprehension, processing and charging of suspects.
  • Explored enhanced sentencing guidelines with the City Prosecutors office.
  • The Federal Way Police Department also distributes a Steering Wheel “CLUB” to local residents for FREE along with registering for the Watch You Car program.
The reduction of auto theft has been attributed mainly to diligent policing, proactive efforts, and a collaborative approach between local government agencies. In September of 2006 auto theft crimes reached a total of 357 with a total amount of 1199 for the entire year. As of September 2007 auto thefts reduced drastically to 190 in the City of Federal Way.

Again, the Federal Way Police Department is asking for the community to assist in reducing auto thefts in our city by remembering prevention is an essential component in deterring these types of crimes.


Approved by: Lieutenant Sandy Templeton Date & Time: 11/02/07 at 0800 Hours // Released by: Stacy Flores, PIO Date & Time: 11/02/07 at 0800 Hours; Pager – 206-916-1139



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