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'Not happening in my car': Denver car theft victim takes matters into her own hands

DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver auto theft victim took matters into her own hands after a thief stole her car in broad daylight.

Holley Kaufman walked out of work Monday afternoon and noticed her car was gone.

“In the past, I’ve had a vehicle stolen and they rip out your whole car, tear everything up, try to live in it and put drugs in it,” Kaufman told Nexstar’s KDVR. “Well, this is a car that I carry my 4-year-old son in, so I’m like, ‘This not happening in my car.’”

Her Mazda has an app that allows her to connect with the car.

“I kept setting the alarm off and stopping the car on the person, and then it has GPS where you can see where your car is, and it was in a Safeway parking lot, so we started going there,” Kaufman said.

Kaufman got someone she knew to drive her there and while she spoke with a 911 dispatcher.

“She (the dispatcher) is like, ‘Ma’am, you are going to put yourself in danger,’” Kaufman recounted. “She said they don’t have anyone on duty to help me right now, so I said, ‘OK, this is the address I’m going to be at, I’m going to be there in five minutes and you can either meet me or I’ll be getting my car.’”

Kaufman found her car and the alleged thief was not inside. She said she discovered a pipe, alcohol, and receipts from returns made that morning inside, which she told KDVR she gave to police.

“I just feel super violated, and at that point in time, there is nothing that was going to change my mind. I was getting my car, I knew they didn’t have time, so I just got it myself,” Kaufman said. “I’m not advising people to do what I did, but at some point, something needs to change.”

The Denver Police Department does not recommend people try to recover their stolen vehicle on their own and asks crime victims to wait for police. The department also suggests registering for the DenverTrack program if your vehicle is equipped with a GPS tracker, saying it helps officers locate their vehicle faster.

A recent report from the Colorado State Patrol shows there was a significant reduction in auto thefts last year compared to 2022.

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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