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Thornton couple tracks down thieves who stole two cars from them

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THORNTON, Colo. -- A Thornton couple has either really bad luck or good luck, depending how you look at it.

Thieves made off with not just one but two of their cars last week from the front of their home off 92nd Avenue and Washington Street.

But the Salazar family didn't have to go long without their vehicles.

Frankie Salazar never thought of herself or her husband as much of super sleuths.

"People are teasing us, saying if they get robbed or anything gets stolen, if they can contact us, that we should become bounty hunters," Salazar said.

About 4 a.m. Sept. 17, thieves stole her husband's 2001 Dodge Ram pickup and her 2007 Scion TC from outside their home.

"My car, my grandma, she passed away, she helped me get (the car). That's my last thing to hold onto her," said Frankie Salazar, who said the car holds deep sentimental value.

But thieves didn't  steal their drive to get their cars back.

Four hours after the thefts, Frankie and her husband were waiting for the light to turn on Washington Street when she looked over and saw her stolen car and its occupants on 84th Avenue. That's when they decided to follow them.

"I got on the phone with dispatch and they told me to follow them, but not get too close and stay in the vehicle," she said.

Minutes later, Thornton police pulled over the alleged thieves, arresting a 15-year-old driver and two adults.

"The very next day, again, kind of in the same area, he spotted his pickup truck," Thornton police Sgt. Matt Cabot said.

He said Frankie Salazar's husband saw three men hop out of his truck in an apartment parking lot. They had taken off the camper shell, which now sits at home, along with the two damaged vehicles.

"Over here is the most wrecked part," Frankie Salazar said of her Scion, which has a big dent.

The thieves tried ripping out the tint.

"They used the cup holders as ashtrays, there was throw-up all over the door," Frankie Salazar said.

They also battered the truck.

"This is where they hit something," as she points out a dent.

And they've learned they'll have to fix the damage and ask the courts to reimburse them.

"It might be fun and games for them right now, or they don't really know responsibility. But we all have to grow up," Frankie Salazar said.

Her husband had accidentally left his keys on the seat of his truck in the haste of getting his two young kids inside their home. He had also kept a spare key for his wife's car in the cup holder. But no longer.

Police remind everyone to always lock your vehicle and don't leave anything valuable inside.

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