YELM – It took thieves only 10 or 15 minutes to steal Lyndsey Marks’ 1995 Honda Civic as she shopped inside the Wal-Mart store in the 17100 block of state Route 507 early Sunday morning.
“I came back out, and it was gone,” she said after her Honda was taken from the store’s parking lot shortly after midnight. “Honestly, I thought someone was playing a trick on me.”
Marks, 20, said she had to miss a day of work Sunday because of the theft.
On Monday afternoon, Yelm police recovered Marks’ Honda, which had been stripped of parts, in a field near Rhoton Road in Yelm, according to Police Chief Todd Stancil. The thieves had replaced the wheels of Marks’ Honda with “doughnut” spares so that it could be driven or towed to where it was abandoned, Stancil said.
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Marks said Monday that it was upsetting to see what was left of her car. “They had towed it already when we got there, and it was absolutely stripped, it was nothing but a shell,” she said. “I was crying my eyes out. It looked horrible.”
In the past five days, three Hondas have been stolen in Yelm, Stancil said. The other two were taken from residences, he said. One was recovered in Tacoma, the other in Tumwater, Stancil said. In both cases, the vehicle ignitions had been removed, indicating that someone “hotwired” the cars, he said.
“Somebody’s on a Honda binge,” he said.
Yelm’s three recent Honda thefts are under investigation, but so far no arrests have been made, according to police.
Stancil said he has heard that other Thurston County law enforcement agencies are also seeing an increase in stolen Hondas.
Hondas traditionally top the annual lists of the most-stolen brand of cars in Washington.
Olympia also has been experiencing a recent increase in thefts of Hondas and Acuras, Olympia police Lt. Jim Costa said. Costa did not have hard statistics available Monday, but he said there have been “more than a couple.”
Lacey police Lt. Phil Comstock said Monday that overall, Lacey car thefts are down in 2010 compared with 2009. But he said that since mid-October, seven cars in Lacey have been stolen from outside homes or apartments after residents started the cars in the morning to let them warm up.
Comstock warned owners not to leave cars unattended with the keys in the ignitions. He added that as the holiday season approaches, drivers need to lock their doors and not leave purchases in their vehicles, even when the vehicle doors are locked.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 firstname.lastname@example.org