Man who tried to steal running car shot by Auburn homeowner

AUBURN, Wash. — A would-be car thief was shot while trying to steal a running car out of someone’s driveway, according to Auburn police.

It happened near the corner of 25th Street Southeast and Dogwood Street early Monday.

“When we arrived on scene we didn’t see a victim but we got a call saying the victim was at a different location. What had happened at this scene is we had an attempted car theft,” said Auburn Police Department Public Information Officer Kolby Crossley.

Auburn police said that shortly before 6:30 a.m., the suspect got into a Toyota Camry that was left running and tried to steal it from the driveway.

The homeowner, who was inside, saw what was happening on his security cameras and then ran outside, confronted the suspect and then shot the man, Crossley said.

After the suspect was shot, he ran from the home only to be caught by Auburn officers a few blocks away.

“In a lot of situations when it’s cold out like this morning, we do see a ton of car thefts because of cars that are left running,” said Crossley.

A KIRO 7 News crew arrived at the scene to find a car with a prominent bullet hole in its passenger-side window.

Ben Greif lives in the neighborhood where the shooting took place. He said he heard and saw some of the action around the police response.

“We woke up about 6 a.m. There were two shots a couple of minutes apart. We saw a number of cop cars,” said Greif.

Police said they tracked down the suspect near an office on Auburn Way near the intersection of Dogwood Street and Auburn Way, just blocks from the home where the suspect tried to steal the car.

Greif said he suspected that the gunshots were due to an attempted theft.

“We know there’s a lot of incidents of people trying to get into other people’s cars to either steal items inside or potentially going for (catalytic) converters or something like that,” said Greif.

Auburn police are trying to determine if anyone else was involved in the incident and the investigation remains open.

The suspect was taken to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

The homeowner declined to comment on the incident.