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South Sound body shop hit 3 times by thieves, stolen Kia stolen again

AUBURN, Wash. — An Auburn auto body shop is frustrated after being hit by burglars three times since early Monday morning.

Early Tuesday morning, thieves stole a Kia to ram their way out of the parking lot of Hinshaw’s Auto Body Shop. That Kia was at the body shop for repairs because it had been stolen before.

Now the Kia is a total loss. The crooks drove it right through a fence and got out, causing costly damage.

Surveillance video shows the crook running over to the Kia in the parking lot and quickly starting it.

“Easier here because the vehicle was already compromised,” said Tom Walters. “So they just took the screwdriver, turned it.”

The shop manager said it was the third time in just 26 hours that someone had broken into the shop. The first time was at about 3 a.m. on Monday. The target seemed to be vehicles in the parking lot waiting for repairs.

“So, they cut the plastic on a few of them,” Walters said. “Rummaged through the cars which were already empty and then were on their way.”

But they weren’t done.

“This morning, just after midnight, they came in,” said Walters. “They broke some windows this time, windows in the vehicles here waiting for repairs. Got into those, rummaged through those for whatever they’re trying to find.”

Then they came back a third time.

“(At) 5 a.m., as I’m on my way here,” Walters said. “I got another call from our security company.”

That’s when the crook jumped into the Kia, drove around the corner into the fence, jumped out of the car, and fled.

“So far, here in 2023, we’ve had more than 130 Kias stolen,” said Auburn Police spokesman Kolby Crossley.

He said that is out of nearly 1,000 vehicles stolen so far. He added that Kia owners can take steps to protect their precious cars.

“Maybe a steering wheel lock,” Crossley said. “Parking in a secure area, parking in a well-lit area. That could really help a lot.

Tom Walters said he hopes the mini crime spree at the shop has ended.

“So, hopefully,” said Walters. “I get to sleep tonight.”

Of course, they and Auburn Police want to catch these guys.

If you know anything about these burglaries, you’re asked to give them a call.

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