In the time it takes to tidy your bed, floss your teeth or microwave a bowl of rice, 19-year-old Christian Normand can steal your car. If it’s an early-’90s-to-2000s Subaru, even better.
Since at least the year 2000, Spokane has consistently ranked as one of the worst cities in Washington for people hoping to permanently keep their cars in their driveway. For several years it even ranked in the top 15 cities in the United States in terms of vehicle theft rate.
“I think by and large, most of the arguments around Spokane are joyriding, addiction, and you have those chronic offenders,” said David Makin, a professor of criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University. “But I think there’s still a lot of unknowns around there.”
Makin says in-home monitoring, such as modern electric bracelets that look no different than a Disneyland MagicBand, are one of the most effective ways to curb repeat offenses.
Last semester, three students in his Crime Prevention Strategies class recommended electronic monitoring to the Spokane Police Department as part of their research into vehicle theft prevention.
The students wrote that compared to the average cost of incarceration per inmate per year — about $31,286 — the $4,500 to $8,500 it would cost for electronic monitoring would be a cheaper alternative, and would help curb recidivism.
Find out more