House toughens theft laws

  • <br>For the Enterprise
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 12:02pm

OLYMPIA — A bill imposing tougher punishment on juvenile and adult auto thieves is headed to the governor.

On Tuesday, April 17, House Bill 1001 cleared its final hurdle on an 83-15 vote in the House of Representatives. It will be sent to Gov. Chris Gregoire, who has not indicated how she will act on it.

Rep. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek, authored the bill that would make stealing any vehicle of any value a first-degree theft and would make it a crime to possess tools used to break into cars.

The bill also would send repeat adult offenders to state prison by their third conviction for auto theft; it can now take up to seven convictions.

And it also increases punishment of juveniles convicted of auto theft. The bill mandates home detention or community service on a first conviction with longer sentences for subsequent convictions.

Lawmakers opposed to the bill had said the punishment for juveniles was too harsh.

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