By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
Centralia police over the weekend dealt with numerous car thefts, in some cases informing the victims their vehicle had been found abandoned and stripped before they were reported missing.
Yesterday morning, a Honda Civic taken from the 200 block of East Carson Street turned up off Johnson Creek Road in South Thurston County. It had been torched, according to police.
It’s happening during the night and all the cars have been locked, according to the Centralia Police Department.
They’re not breaking the windows.
Police suspect that thieves might be using a “shaved” key to defeat the locks and ignitions since they are targeting similar cars, Sgt. Carl Buster said.
The years mostly range from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, he said.
Buster recommends folks to be extra vigilant and if they see any vehicles or people out of place in their neighborhood to call 911.
“Someone’s going to have to catch them in the act,” Buster said. “Unless you put a club on your steering wheel or lock it in the garage, they’re gonna get it.”
According to Buster: Saturday began with a 1989 Toyota Camry found in an alley near the 1800 block of North Tower Avenue. It had been taken from the 1700 block of Military Road and It’s stereo was missing, according to police.
Around 11 a.m., a 2001 Honda CRV was discovered in the area of Fair Street that was stolen from the 300 block of East Pine Street. It was also partially stripped.
Soon after, an officer was called to the 1800 block of Shamrock Drive where someone had tampered with a 1993 Mazda, but didn’t take it. It had an alcohol ignition interlock in place that probably made it less attractive, according to Buster.
Five have been reported stolen in Centralia since Jan. 4
“So, they’re stealing them from all over town, dumping them all over town – and out of the county – and they’re progressively getting worse,” Buster said. “Now they’re burning them.”