Vancouver neighborhood suspects organized thieves stealing cars

After his truck was stolen for the third time, Pete Boule put an anti-theft club on the steering wheel. (KATU Photo)

A few days ago someone stole Pete Boule's Mazda truck from his driveway for the third time.

"Honestly, the truck was such a junker I thought, who would want to steal it? You could start it with a screwdriver. I didn't even lock the doors," said Boule from his Southeast Vancouver home.

And for the third time, he got it back.

Police found it in a Northeast Vancouver neighborhood.

It's back in his driveway now, but has an anti-theft club hugging the steering wheel.

"The first two times they broke the door locks, they broke the ignition, and I said, I’m not going to fix it. Now, I’m going to put the club on it, fix the ignition, maybe another trick or two, have a battery switch or something, I don’t want to give that away on TV."

Vancouver vehicle thefts dropped in the years 2012 to 2014, and went up slightly in 2015.

In the last 30 days there have been more than a hundred vehicle thefts reported in Vancouver. That's above the average for 2012.

Neighbors in the Southeast Ellsworth and Southeast 10th Street area suspect a team of thieves using a tow truck to move in, grab a car, and get away fast.

Vancouver police have no evidence of that.

Heather Scukanec has had two cars stolen from her driveway.

One was found in the Columbia River. The other, missing the engine, was found in Portland.

"It happened very quickly, our dogs never barked, nothing," said Scukanec.

She has her own suspicions about how it happened and who did it.

"We had our oil changed both times the night previous to our cars being stolen. That place also happens to make car keys. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, it may be, but we no longer get our oil changed there," she said.

Scukanec has since added security cameras around her house, and an audio system that lets her talk to anyone in the driveway.

"I scared a couple of kids who were messing with my garbage cans the other day. I think it will work for the cars, too," she said. "But really I just hope they can catch the thieves. It doesn't seem like they get caught very often. That would be good."

Vancouver police recommend extra security systems if you can afford them, and it's always good to park in a visible, well-lighted place, and lock your vehicle.

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