Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
March, 2014
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Recently Elected Officials Honored at Swearing In Ceremonies

Service Comes First

Thurston County’s Specialty Courts Hit Milestone

One Family, One Judge.

Sheriff Recognizes Contributions to the Community

Romance on Mound Prairie

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 Don’t Become an Auto Theft Victim.

A message from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

This is the time of year when some of us like to warm up our vehicles in the driveway before heading out. But that can be an invitation to thieves to jump into an unattended auto and drive off. Always stay with your vehicle while it is warming up to avoid becoming an auto theft victim.

More than one million cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and trailers are stolen every year. There were over 1.2 million thefts of vehicle contents and almost 1.3 million thefts of accessories from motor vehicles in 1983 alone. The recovery rate for stolen vehicles was 54 percent in the early 1980s compared to 90 percent in the 1960s.

You can take the following steps to help protect your property:

  • Park in a well lit area when possible. Avoid leaving your car, truck, or motorcycle in unattended parking lots for long periods of time.
  • Keep your keys in your pocket or purse, not in your desk drawer or locker. Never put an identification tag on your key ring. If your keys are lost or stolen, it could help a thief locate your car or burglarize your home.
  • Lock the car and pocket the key whether you leave for a minute or several hours. Make sure the windows are closed and the trunk is locked. This includes vehicles parked inside your garage; we frequently see reports where vehicles thought to be secured inside a garage are prowled.
  • Do not leave important identification papers in the glove compartment or console.
  • If you have to leave a key with repair shop or a parking lot attendant, leave only the ignition key. It takes very little time to copy a key, and a key to your house, combined with your address information from the vehicle registration, can lead to residential burglaries.


Keep a file of your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and other important information.

Since 1969, the federal government has required manufacturers to engrave a unique number, the VIN, on all passenger cars in one visible and several hidden locations. One VIN is engraved on a metal plate on the dashboard near the windshield. When a car is reported stolen, police send its VIN to the FBI's computerized National Crime Information Center. Make sure your car's VIN and a complete description are recorded and kept in a safe place at home. When you are buying a new or used car, check the VIN plate and make sure it matches the VIN on the ownership papers.

For more on protecting your vehicles and other property, please visit the auto theft page on the Thurston County Sheriff’s web site.

By John Tennis

Don't be a victim of auto theft! Don't be a victim of auto theft!