According to information from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) new laws are making it a LOT easier for auto thieves.

AUTHORITIES SAY AUTO THEFTS ARE UP BETWEEN 40 AND 50 PERCENT

According to a report from MyNorthwest.com, the WASPC says auto thefts in our state have skyrocketed, largely due to new laws passed by Democratic legislators that went into effect in July 2021.

Even if the suspect rams a Law Enforcement vehicle in an attempt to escape and they do, they STILL cannot be chased.

Previously, WASPC Executive Director Steve Strachan said the state averaged between 2,000 and 2,500 auto thefts per month. Now, those rates have climbed to between 3,000 and 3,500. That's an increase of between 40 and 50 percent.

MyNorthwest.com and KIRO Radio reported on several incidents on the west side, including one where a Lakewood, WA woman recently had her car stolen literally right in front of her. The suspect jumped in and before she could react or try to stop them, they sped off in her 2020 Kia Ultima.

Lakewood Police did manage to recover the car several weeks later, but investigators said the vehicle had clear evidence of meth all over the insides. The woman now isn't sure it's safe to keep.

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Due to laws prohibiting most Police car chases (they have to have probable cause instead of reasonable suspicion) they can't pursue like in the past. Even if the suspect rams a Law Enforcement vehicle in an attempt to escape and they do, they STILL cannot be chased.

 IN MOST CASES POLICE CANNOT GO AFTER SUSPECTS RIGHT AWAY

Port Orchard Chief Matt Brown told MyNorthwest.com  “that type of assault is not considered a violent crime under current legislation regulating pursuits."

Legislators (GOP) have introduced a series of bills trying to modify or roll back these laws, it is not known how successful they will be.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.