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Woodbury police are shining the spotlight on two auto theft incidents from over the weekend, with two 13-year-old boys now in custody.

The Woodbury Public Safety Department said the first incident happened around 1 p.m. Saturday in the Seasons neighborhood. A resident was unloading their Kia in the driveway when a young male approached "calmly" and hopped in the vehicle, driving off with the key fob inside. The resident held on to the door, trying to get the teen to stop, but eventually let go as the driver sped off. The Kia was later found in St. Paul via GPS.

The next day, Woodbury officers — returning to the city after a motor vehicle-related apprehension in St. Paul — saw two vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed on Interstate 94 near Interstate 494, the department said in its release. They went after one, a Cadillac SRX that had been stolen from White Bear Township, but eventually stopped the pursuit due to the Cadillac driver's "dangerous" driving, police said. 

However, the vehicle abruptly failed. Three individuals got out and tried to flee on foot, but officers from Woodbury, Oakdale and the State Patrol caught two of them, the department said. Both of the people arrested are 13 years old. One has previous vehicle thefts on their record. Because of the suspects' age, they cannot share more, the release said.

Inside the Cadillac, officers also found a Kia key fob and garage door openers — both from the Woodbury auto theft in the Seasons neighborhood the day prior.

Woodbury Public Safety credited quick 911 calls by victims and witnesses, undercover officers, patrol officers and agency cooperation for the arrests. 

"We will continue with special enforcement and undercover details to recover vehicles and apprehend suspects, and we ask that the community be mindful of limiting opportunities for the suspects," the department said, calling the recent spate of auto thefts "crimes of opportunity." 

The department included some tips for limiting auto theft opportunities:

  • Keep keys out of unattended vehicles
  • Don’t leave vehicles running unattended
  • Vehicles with proximity fobs can still be stolen if the vehicle is running, regardless of where the fob is
  • Be aware of your surroundings when entering or exiting a vehicle, or while in a parking lot 
  • While in the car, keep your eyes up and the doors locked

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