‘We’re still going to be hit in Spokane’: Dealerships frustrated by thieves and prowlers

March 25, 2022 7:22 PM

Posted: March 25, 2022 7:22 PM

Updated: March 25, 2022 9:31 PM

SPOKANE, Wash — A problem nationwide has made its way to Spokane.

Car thefts are up almost 90 percent this year, in comparison to last year, according to Spokane Police Department.

Northtown Auto Sales saw the problem first hand. Their internet manager Jocko Audet explained, at one point they’ve had 1 to 2 cars stolen off their lot every couple of weeks.

“Typically easier vehicles to go ahead and steal are older vehicles,” he said. “We’ve had some people just go ahead and take them when they are getting ready to go on a test drive, daylight, nighttime, it really didn’t matter.”

He checks the security footage every day, and normally finds car prowlers every night.

“There doesn’t seem to really be a deterrent that there’s cameras here or security guards that actually loop around the lot at random times at night,” Audet said. “It’s inevitable that we’re still going to be hit in Spokane.”

It’s been about two years since Oday Joda, the owner of Oday Auto had a car stolen off his lot.

“We find it in downtown two to three days after, the police called us and they said we found your car here,” he said. “Stuff like wheels, and tires, and radios, and catalytic converters, that was happening every weekend.”

After hearing that car theft is up in Spokane, he’s concerned it could happen again.

“I do my best, I put a fence here, I have cameras, I have a security system,” Joda said. “There’s nothing I can do more than that.”

Northtown Auto Sales estimates its lost tens of thousands of dollars because of the thefts.

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