BALLARD, Wash. - Vehicle theft is an issue that continues to plague our state during the pandemic. According to the Puget Sound Auto Theft Taskforce, in the last 48 hours, 79 cars were stolen in King and Pierce Counties. 56 were taken out of King County alone.
Seattle Police have noticed an uptick in car theft since COVID-19 hit, and a case overnight in Ballard takes the issue to a whole other level.
It started out like any other day for Mary Kay Jebousek.
“I got up this morning and when I took out the garbage I looked up and thought, ‘Didn’t I leave the car on the street?’ And when I turned around I looked and saw our garage door was open, and then it all clicked that all three vehicles were gone," Jebousek said.
She couldn’t quite believe her eyes. Her family’s three vehicles, an Acura TL, a Toyota Avalon, and a Chevy Cruise were gone. Inside her Ballard home she realized the three sets of keys were also missing, pointing to a chilling conclusion, the thief or thieves had come inside the house.
“I’m just happy none of us were hurt, because any one of us could’ve gotten up when they were in the house and that’s what’s scary,” she said.
Jebousek thinks most likely their car parked on the street was broken into and the culprit got ahold of the garage clicker, which gave them access to the garage and ultimately their home.
“I’m still in shock, it’s like I still can’t believe that somebody or some people did something like that," Jebousek said.
Their neighbor’s Nest camera caught one of the cars being driven off around 1 a.m. Wednesday, and then at 3 a.m. the other two sped off back-to-back.
The registration for one of the vehicles and other items inside were found discarded not far from their home.
“They had to have this planned, because you don’t just say ‘oh I’m gonna grab three. There has to be some planning behind it in my mind," Jebousek said.
Now, the family is left with no transportation.
“I can’t get to work, my younger son, because he lost his internship, is doing Postmates, which now he can’t do," said Jebousek.
But the biggest concern is for her husband, who has cancer and needs weekly treatments. Because he’s immunocompromised, taking the bus or ride share services aren’t safe options during the pandemic.
Navigating life during COVID has already had enough challenges for the family. Having all of their vehicles stolen only makes things that much harder. They can only hope they’ll get a lucky break and get at least one of them back.
The three stolen vehicles are described are a green/blueish Acura TL with plate number AEX0794, a red Chevy Cruise with a Bishop Blanchet license plate, plate number ATS4573, and a champagne colored Toyota Avalon with plate number BKT8829.
All three have Washington state license plates. If you see any of the cars, call 911. If you have any information on this theft, or any others, you can message the Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force on Facebook.