Police: Teen arrested for stealing cars in Kent linked to 50 more thefts in the past year

A 16-year-old girl and a 26-year-old women were arrested for allegedly burglarizing a car dealership in Kent, stealing five vehicles. Police believe the teen is linked to more than 50 car thefts this past year. 

The latest theft was reported at 360 Motors, a car dealership in Kent. 

Tryamel Anderson has been in business for four years at the same location on Central Avenue South. During that time, he said he’s been broken into four times, with the latest being the worst of them all.

"They just busted the whole window out and helped [themselves] in," Anderson said.

He says his surveillance cameras captured four people breaking into the dealership around 5 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

"Everybody's ringing the New Year’s in and I wake up to this," Anderson said. "They were probably in here maybe five minutes. They just grabbed the keys, went outside, picked which car they wanted and drove off."

He says four cars, a BMW, Lexus, Cadillac and an Escalade were taken off his 30-car lot in just minutes.

"Why this little place? I'm just a little car lot," Anderson asked.

Auburn Police say a few days later, someone reported an unlicensed car parked near 9th Street NE.  

Officers were able to track it down and confirm it was stolen. They then linked the pair to the thefts. 

"It is alarming, obviously, when you see the age. That is such a young age," said Kolby Crossley, a spokesman with Auburn PD.

He said the teen targeted residential areas around Auburn, taking as many as 50 cars as people left them running to warm it up. 

"In most cases, it takes just a few seconds for someone to steal these vehicles," Crossley said.  

Both suspects' homes were searched, where police found more than a dozen sets of keys to stolen cars. They were arrested and booked for burglary and car theft. 

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Photo from Auburn PD

Police say charges can stack up against the teen as the investigation continues.

The 26-year-old was in court on Wednesday, and prosecutors argued she be held on $10,000 bail. However, a judge released her despite prosecutor's objections.

Four out of the five cars have been found and returned to the dealership.

One is currently at the body shop getting repaired. Anderson says two others had scrapes and bumps to the bumpers, but was more alarmed about what he found inside them-- mail from residents in Bothell, Buckley and other areas.

"It just looks like they're going around stealing," Anderson said. "I thought I was going to find their name, but I found everyone else’s instead."

He also found a child’s battery-powered toy car in the backseat of the BMW  

"They were acting like it’s their car, like they were joyriding, like they had their kid in the backseat," Anderson said.

The thefts are damaging and costly for the small business owner already facing trying times.

"As soon we started taking a couple steps forward, we take three steps back," Anderson said.

The King County Prosecutors Office says the 50 cases have not been sent to prosecutors, but is rather an ongoing police investigation. They say they will act on cases immediately as they’re received. 

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