SPOKANE, Wash. – A nationwide problem has spread to Spokane.

Auto thefts are up nearly 90% this year, compared to last year, according to the Spokane Police Department.

Northtown Auto Sales saw the problem firsthand. Their internet manager, Jocko Audet, explained that at some point 1-2 cars were stolen from their property every two weeks.

“The vehicles that are generally easier to steal are the older vehicles,” he said. “We’ve had people just step up and take them when they’re getting ready for a test drive, day or night, it really didn’t matter.”

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

“It doesn’t really seem like a deterrent that there are cameras here or security guards circling the pitch at random times of the night,” Audet said. “It is inevitable that we will still be affected in Spokane.”

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

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

After hearing that auto theft was on the rise in Spokane, he fears it could happen again.

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

Northtown Auto Sales estimates that it lost tens of thousands of dollars to the thefts.

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