LAKEWOOD, Wash. - Imagine watching someone drive away in your car right in front of your home; that is what happened to one Lakewood woman this week, and it was all captured on video.
Sheila Davenport has lived in her Lakewood neighborhood for about a decade.
She said she was getting ready to take her granddaughter to surgery. Her car was running in her driveway, and she was away from it for just a few seconds, but that’s all it took for a thief to strike.
"You violated; you came on my property, and you took something that did not belong to you," she said.
Unfortunately, it is a rising trend in Pierce County.
According to Lakewood Police, they saw a 42% spike in car thefts.
Pierce County reports about a 43% increase.
Tacoma reports a 63% percent increase.
"I wish them well, but I wish them to be caught. Trust me. You need to be held accountable for your actions. You are a thief," said Davenport.
However, in Washington State that is not an easy task.
"Under the current law we are not allowed to pursue any stolen vehicles," said Sergeant Darren Moss with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
That is because of a law passed in 2021.
Sergeant Moss also says even if a thief is caught, they will not stay in custody due to COVID restrictions in the jails.
Davenport was not aware of these changes in the state.
"You’re telling me there is a law that says they can’t do something to a thief who stole something from somebody," she said.
She says the current system is not fair to victims like her.
"What are we supposed to do, just sit here and allow thieves to keep continuing to steal. Until the law is changed, they’re going to continue to do what they need to do, so that is on the lawmakers as well. So, that law needs to come off the books, immediately. That is unacceptable."
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