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19 vehicles stolen from Spanaway auto auction lot

Thieves grabbed a hundred sets of keys, and drove off in pickups and SUVs, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department said.

SPANAWAY, Wash. — The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is trying to track down the thieves who stole 19 vehicles from a Spanaway auto auction lot.

Someone, or more likely a group of people, broke onto the property Friday, Nov. 26, grabbed about 100 sets of keys, and drove off in pickups, SUVs, vans, and a sedan, according to Sgt. Darren Moss.

“They cut through the fence line and broke through the key box and on their way out they actually had to ram through the fence to get out of here,” said Daniel Robinson, a security guard at the lot.

Detectives recovered 11 of the vehicles as of Tuesday evening, Moss said.

One person was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, Moss said. Investigators are still searching for additional suspects.

The Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force says vehicle thefts are up statewide this year compared to 2020. Pierce County saw a big jump in October, with more than 3,400 thefts.

Moss said one of the reasons could be because of COVID-19 restrictions in jails.

“We are not allowed to book for lower-level misdemeanors or some lower-level felony crimes. Auto theft happens to be one of those crimes, so our thieves that we are catching are being arrested but released immediately,” Moss said.

He also blamed a new state law limiting vehicle pursuits

Anyone who spots one of the stolen vehicles, which do not have license plates, is asked to call the sheriff’s department. 

View images of the stolen vehicles here.