Vehicle thefts in Vancouver, Wash., have increased the past two years. In 2016, vehicle thefts jumped 15.6 percent from the previous year, and in 2015 they increased 6 percent—1,007 vehicles were reported stolen in Vancouver in 2016 compared to 871 in 2015 and 821 in 2014.
Clayton Mosher, a professor in Washington State University Vancouver’s sociology department who focuses on criminology, said three years of increases in vehicle thefts may be due to the slowing pace at which police services are being expanded in the city.
A limited number of officers in Vancouver, as well as Clark County, means law enforcement patrolling the streets have limited time to follow up on things like property and vehicle thefts, said Mosher, who sits on the city’s Community Resources Team with other local residents who aim to help increase police hiring, among other goals.
“One of the things that came up (in resource team discussions) was thefts and auto thefts and not having enough officers to follow up on these things as quickly as they could be,” he said.