Car thieves are in the Tri-Cities and they appear to be targeting Hondas right now, prompting police to warn residents to take steps to keep their cars secured.
Kennewick police had two Honda Civics reported stolen to them Monday, said Mike Blatman, police spokesman. Someone also tried to steal an Acura Integra early Tuesday morning, but left it behind after punching the steering column with a screwdriver and getting it started.
Richland police say they've only had one Honda stolen in the past week, but Pasco police apparently have seen a rash of vehicle thefts. Officers from each agency met Tuesday to discuss the problem, said Richland police Capt. Mike Cobb.
It's not clear if the vehicles were unlocked, but in Kennewick's case, officers know that there were no signs of forced entry and the owners had the car keys, Blatman said.
The thieves likely are targeting the cars to strip for parts, authorities said.
On Sunday, two cars that had been stolen in Pasco were found by a Washington State Patrol trooper in Kennewick, just east of the boat launch in Columbia Park, police said. The cars, which still were warm, had been stripped.
One Honda Civic that had been stolen Monday evening from the Columbia Center mall was later found running the middle of the road near 10th Avenue and Newport Street, Blatman said. The steering column had been damaged to get the car to run, he said.
To keep thieves away, Blatman said people need to keep their vehicles locked and recommends having kill switches or fuel switches that prevent the car from running if a proper key is not used. And if possible, keep vehicles secured in garages.