Car thefts are on a sharp rise, say authorities, and Pasco Police report their numbers are close to averaging twice what they did per month in 2017.  Last year, about 12 vehicles were reported taken per month, this year is about 23.

Officials say other communities including Spokane and Yakima are among the national leaders in thefts per capita, and a lot of the vehicles are believed to be taken for parts.

The most popular models remain Mid 1990's Honda Civics and Accords, as well as 2000's full-size Ford pickups.  Police say thieves will actually teach youngsters how to steal a vehicle without needing a key. Many of the thefts have occurred not far from freeway or highway on ramps, making getaway that much easier.

They also say company vehicles are often stolen, thieves use the truck itself to crash through gates.  Those vehicles that are not stolen for parts are taken for joyrides, they're usually the ones found days or even hours later, and they're often on fire in remote areas.

They also say many of them are thefts of convenience. Unlocked vehicles are a prime target, or if you leave your vehicle running and attended in the morning. Police strongly suggest installing an alarm, some even come with a kill switch.

They also urge citizens to make a point of not only checking on their 'locked' vehicles, but look around your neighborhood. Most of the time a car prowler is easy to spot--somebody looking in windows, lurking around a vehicle especially at night.