Laurelhurst Community Club                                                     

Serving 2800 Households and Businesses in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood

               

 

December 12, 2005

 

 

Councilmember Nick Licata, Chair

Public Safety, Civil Rights and Arts Committee and

Members of the Seattle City Council

600 Fourth Avenue, Floor 2

P.O. Box 34025

Seattle, WA 98124-4025

 

RE:       Council Bill Number 115454

 Dear Councilmember Licata and Members of the Council,

            The Laurelhurst Community Club Board of Trustees urges you to pass Council Bill 115454, making it a crime to possess vehicle theft tools.  In the last couple of years, there has been an epidemic of auto thefts in Seattle.  Seattle has been named one of the top ten cities for auto thefts.  Council Bill 115454 will provide one more tool to our police department in cracking down on auto theft rings.

             With 9,253 vehicles stolen last year in Seattle and only 600 cases cleared, it is important to take steps to ensure that police have all possible tools to apprehend those involved in auto theft rings.  As it is now, the police have no basis to arrest passengers in a stolen vehicle who are in possession of the “tools of the trade” in the auto theft industry and where the police are convinced of criminal involvement.  Seattle should follow the example of Auburn and Tacoma in passing similar measures that have proven to have successful results.

 

            This measure makes sense in that those in possession of burglary tools for breaking into homes may be charged with a crime, yet the same is not currently true for those who steal or break into cars.  There is also a safeguard in Council Bill 115454 to protect vehicles owners who have locked themselves out of their car and may be in possession of a lock pull or other device to assist in opening a locked door.  The proposed ordinance would only allow a person to be charged if the facts and circumstances show that the tools were intended to be used in the commission of a burglary or vehicle involved theft.

 

            On behalf of our neighbors, we urge you to adopt Council Bill 115454.  Thank you for considering the views of the Laurelhurst Community Club.

 

Sincerely,

                                                     

Jeannie Hale, President                                                 Pat Wright, Crime Prevention Rep

3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE                                              3925 48th Avenue NE

Seattle, Washington  98105                                                      Seattle, Washington  98105

206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631                                          206-522-0871

jeannieh@serv.net