Clark County Sheriff’s Office seeks public assistance in curbing auto thefts


In 2020 there were 581 vehicles reported stolen to the Sheriff’s Office; in 2021 that total number increased to 801 stolen vehicles

Clark County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division continues to see a significant increase in the number of auto thefts within our jurisdiction. We are requesting the public’s assistance in helping us reduce what is often a very preventable crime.    

In 2020 there were 581 vehicles reported stolen to the Sheriff’s Office.  In 2021 that total number increased to 801 stolen vehicles.   

In 2020 there were 581 vehicles reported stolen to the Sheriff’s Office; in 2021 that total number increased to 801 stolen vehicles.
File photo.

To illustrate how prevalent this crime has become, we tracked auto theft over a 19-day period in one single area of the county, the Orchards area.  From Jan. 1 to Jan. 19, there were 23 vehicles stolen from the Orchards area alone.  These numbers only include auto thefts reported to Clark County Sheriff which occurred in and around Orchards, and not those reported to the Vancouver Police Department, which essentially covers any area south of Fourth Plain Blvd.  Of these 23 vehicles, five were left running or warming up in driveways or parking lots.

On Thursday (Jan. 20), during a 30-minute period of our morning rush hour, patrol deputies located 19 vehicles left running unattended in the Sifton and Orchards neighborhoods alone.  Deputies spoke with some of the owners, to help educate them on the dangers of leaving a vehicle warming up unattended.   

It is important for the public to know that in most cases, deputies are not authorized to pursue occupied stolen vehicles or use intervention techniques to recover occupied stolen vehicles.  Therefore, most stolen vehicles are not recovered unless they are abandoned by the suspect.   In many cases, these stolen vehicles are kept for extended periods of times by criminals and then used to commit further crime.   

The Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to be more vigilant about their vehicles by not leaving them running or warming up unattended.  Set car alarms, do not leave keys in vehicles, block vehicles in at night or keep them in a garage if possible.

Please be aware that criminals are often roaming both on foot and in vehicles during the morning hours, specifically looking for targets of opportunity. Don’t be an easy target for a criminal; keep your vehicle locked and warm it up under your supervision. 

If you have any information regarding the location of a stolen vehicle or suspects involved, please notify the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, or call 3-1-1 to report.

Information provided by Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

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Caryn Anderson
Caryn Anderson
4 months ago

It should also be noted that vehicles are being stolen in broad daylight from establishments like restaurants, shopping malls, etc along the I-5 corridor. Our truck was locked within view of a security camera at a Vancouver restaurant and stolen within 30minutes of arrival. It was devastating as we traveled over five hours from Eastern Oregon to enjoy time shopping, a nice meal only to lose our trust in feeling safe within PDX/Vancouver. Marine Drive looked like a crime scene, that should have been our clue to drive back home!!

Terry
Terry
4 months ago
Reply to  Caryn Anderson

So sorry 😞

Lisa Edgar
Lisa Edgar
4 months ago

If these thieves are not held accountable far worse will be soon. People do not trust that anyone is going to help us stay safe and keep what we have worked for.

Terry
Terry
4 months ago
Reply to  Lisa Edgar

Restitution will never happen. Pointless to jail them. It’s a mess.

bink
bink
4 months ago
Reply to  Terry

it is not pointless to jail them, they will not be reoffending in jail

John Smith
John Smith
4 months ago

There are homeless drug addicts walking and riding bikes all over Orchards looking for an angle. It’s all they do.

lyn van h
lyn van h
4 months ago
Reply to  John Smith

And there are people with homes going out at night and doing the same damn thing!

Triston
Triston
4 months ago

Get that concealed.

Jeff tone
Jeff tone
4 months ago

They are stealing cars alot of Subarus are taken to this address they posted my car parts after stealing my car the day before but it’s obvious they steal cars I got the dude to give me the address. 13209 ne 72 Vancouver Washington 98686. Trust me there are plenty of cars tires and rims from 119 go 13400 I seen 3 places that obviously steal cars. I know some of the thieves hang out at oakbrook apartments they are always leaving at the early hours in 3 cars

Brennan
Brennan
4 months ago

Maybe the state police should be patrolling, rather than sitting on I-5 busting people not wearing their seat belts……Just a suggestion

Peter Schultz
Peter Schultz
4 months ago

It is important for the public to know that in most cases, deputies are not authorized to pursue occupied stolen vehicles or use intervention techniques to recover occupied stolen vehicles.

Why not? Is it not the job of law enforcement to arrest criminals in the act of committing crime? Whose decision is it to “authorize” or “not authorize” deputies to do their job?

So, what you telling me is this: “Take the plates off your vehicle and just ignore any flashing lights behind you and keep driving, because we will not intervene.”

If this is the stance of “law enforcement”, then why wouldn’t anybody just take anything they want from anyone they want?

To the sheriff and others in authority: Please give your deputies authority to enforce the law. Thank you.

Karen
Karen
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter Schultz

I was wondering the exact same thing.

Terri
Terri
1 month ago

Watch the pendulum swing to extremes as knee jerk reactions always do. Pursuing stolen vehicles when it becomes a hazard to the public should be halted. There are plenty examples on the internet to see when the police have become overzealous, pumped with adrenalin and chase suspected car thieves far beyond reason. However, on the other hand if there are absolutely no consequences for stealing cars why would anyone stop?  No Brainer!!
So is it a matter of knee jerk, the lack of available officers, or the usual propaganda?  Can’t a happy medium ever be found?