Victim of Auburn theft ring says teens used her car to steal others

A car theft spree continues to plague Auburn, after two Mazdas were stolen from a neighborhood in one night.

The latest incident involved the theft of Cayden Dedera's car. Despite the serene appearance of her neighborhood, Dedera found herself part of a troubling statistic while visiting her partner.

"I was like, 'Where's my car?' He just kept saying, like, 'There's no way, there's no way,’" Dedera said, expressing disbelief and confusion upon waking up to find her car missing.

Home security footage captured a teen opening the door of her unlocked Mazda, keys still inside, around 2:20 a.m. on Saturday, May 11.

"That's about as bad as it can get, I set them up for success," Dedera lamented.

The surveillance footage only recorded 30 seconds of the incident, cutting off before the teen drove away with her car.

"I'm just snappy, I'm restless, I'm irritable and discontent, because it's just out of my control and I feel so violated, and I just want to scream," said Dedera.

Her distress intensified when she learned another Mazda parked nearby was also stolen the same night. Officer Kolby Crossley from Auburn Police highlighted the prevalence of such crimes, saying, "These stolen cars happen so fast and so quick, and people don't even realize when it's happening."

In 2023, over 1,500 cars were stolen in Auburn, with 451 reported stolen so far this year. For Dedera, the theft was more than a financial loss — it was the loss of memories and an irreplaceable personal item.

"It's my heart. I'm in a recovery program. It's my big book, and I prayed about it," said Dedera.

Fortunately, the thieves discarded the book and other belongings in a neighbor’s yard.

Dedera turned to social media for help, leading to a coworker sending her a video showing what appeared to be the same teens using her car to commit other crimes in another city.

"It's just frustrating all over again," Dedera said. "I just want to scream through this thing and be like, 'Give me back my car. What are you kids doing? What are you doing? It's four o'clock in the morning!'"

"That probably made me more sick than then stealing my car, because now it's my car that's causing the crimes. I feel attached to it in some way and just violated and disgusted," said Dedera.

Auburn Police acknowledge the rising trend of car thefts. Dedera hopes her story will highlight the larger issue and end the cycle. "This is not the kind of crime you commit for fun, for joy, for challenge. This is where people get hurt," said Dedera.

Due to the crimes crossing city lines, Auburn police cannot investigate the videos. Authorities remind you to lock your cars, never leave keys inside, and use tracking devices if possible. If your car is stolen, call the police immediately.


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