EVERETT — The nine people who make up the Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force were recognized Tuesday morning by Sheriff John Lovick and other dignitaries for their accomplishments in the first six months the group has been working.
Started in October, the task force has made at least 70 arrests and recovered about $775,000 in stolen property, officials said.
“They exceeded everything I imagined they would do,” Lovick said.
The task force is paid for with money Lovick helped win during his time in Olympia as a state legislator.
In 2007, a law was passed that stiffened penalties for people convicted of stealing vehicles. It also directed $10 from every traffic ticket toward funding auto-theft prevention.
The Snohomish County task force is made up of detectives from the sheriff’s office; Monroe, Lynnwood and Marysville police; and the Washington State Patrol. An Everett police analyst and a prosecutor and a secretary from the Snohomish County prosecutor’s office also help. Since October about 50 people have been convicted in task force cases, officials said.
Currently there are eight similar task forces working throughout the state.
“I can safely say that the group here has set the bar high,” Washington State Patrol Lt. Wes Rethwill said. “I’m not sure the other groups can catch up.”
Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437, firstname.lastname@example.org.