These incidents were reported across the country from 10.9.17 to 10.15.17
Stockton, CA – Reported 10.9.17
Four Juvenilles Steal $400K in Single Heist
Police arrested four juvenile boys connected with a recent area break-in at a dealership. That burglary resulted in nine missing cars—six of which have been recovered—about 300 stolen car keys. Between the keys and the value of the stolen cars, the dealership estimates that about $400,000 worth of property was taken.
The dealership says it knows of two other local businesses that have had similar thefts. Hopefully, the police have caught the entire child ring so this latest—but not the last—crime spree can stop. (Original article)
Gilbert, AZ – Reported 10.9.17
Dealership Gifts Veteran Free Truck for Heroics During Las Vegas Shooting
A dealership in Arizona gave away a free truck to a U.S. veteran who helped save “dozens of lives” during the 10.1.17 Las Vegas shooting.
In order to transport the critically injured to a local hospital, the man stole a truck to ferry two rounds of victims to medical attention. The truck did make its way back to its owner after its rescue work was complete, and its impromptu driver is hailed as a hero across traditional and social media.
To thank the driver, B5 Motors gave him a brand-spanking-new Ford F-150 to “honor him and express appreciation for his bravery, courage, and American spirit.” The veteran says that he plans to sell the vehicle and donate the money to the victims of the shooting tragedy. (Original article)
Denver, CO – Reported 10.9.17
$600K Car Ring Busted
A Colorado grand jury indicted 19 individuals on 99-counts involving car theft of 90+ victims and more than $600,000 in missing cars. This car theft ring caused an additional $30,000 in property damages—all between November 2015 and July 2017.
Businesses and residential parking areas, secured or unsecured, fenced or open: This gang stole cars and property from victims indiscriminately. Once thieves forced their way onto a secured property, they’d see if the cars were open, and then steal whatever was inside. If they found a key in a “clever” hiding spot, then they’d take the car, too. (Original article)
Clear Lake, IA – Reported 10.9.17
Dealership Discovers Bad Check 5 Days Too Late
The proud owner of a 2017 Ford Explorer signed a $55,999.75 personal check with a flourish from a local dealership in August 2017. The only problem? The bank returned the check to the dealership 5 days later, since the account had been frozen since 7.5.17 after the man had written an additional two bad checks for $119,426.
According to court records, the “customer” never had enough money in his account to cover the $55,000+. Therefore, police arrested the man for “theft by writing a bad check”—and the Explorer has yet to make its way back to the dealership. (Original article)
North Kansas City, MO – Reported 10.10.17
Dealership Loses Customer Cars 3 Times in 3 Months
Within the last three months, thieves stole three customer vehicles—a truck, a tractor, and now a Jeep Wrangler—from the same automotive dealership’s service area. It’s not just that single dealership experiencing loss, either. Neighboring businesses caught similar crimes on security cameras, showing thieves stealing vehicles “in less than 30 seconds.”
The local police force believes that the car thieves are looking for large getaway vehicles to support other crimes in the area. If you have any information, please contact the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477. (Original article)
Caddo Parish, LA – Reported 10.11.17
Identity Thief “Buys” $46K Car
An identity thief is accused of using a fake driver’s license—with a real victim’s information—to “purchase” a $46,330 2017 Camaro from a Shreveport auto dealership in December 2016. He tried the same scheme in Arlington, but that dealership’s employees became suspicious and called the police.
While the thief is now (finally) behind bars and the vehicle returned to the dealership, the identity theft victim is still addressing the $46,000+ loan in his name. (Original article)
Columbiana, AL – Reported 10.12.17
Car Thief Arrested, But Camaro Still Missing
Police arrested a car thief for stealing a Chevrolet Camaro from a local car dealership on 10.9.17. This arrest comes on top of a charge of criminal mischief for driving a Dodge Ram 1500 into a metal fence, causing $2,500 in repair work.
There’s no word on the location of the stolen Chevrolet Camaro. The suspect remains behind bars on $25,300 worth of bonds. (Original article)
El Paso, TX – Reported 10.12.17
Dealership Stores Keys by Windows, Loses $240K in Cars
Police arrested five men ranging in age from 18 to 22 in the theft of six cars—a 2017 Ford Focus and five 2017 Mustangs, worth more than $240,000—from a local auto dealership in September 2017. The authorities also informed the dealership of its missing vehicles after spotting them on the street.
The dealer principal told reporters that the dealership stored its keys “by the windows” to enable quicker and easier access for customers. It plans to investigate better storage solution for keys that won’t keep customers waiting. (Original article)
Coldwater, MI – 10.12.17
Thieves Take Tires “Sometime” In a 10.5 Hour Span
A tire theft spree continued last week, as another dealership found itself missing 20 tires on opening Thursday morning. The thefts occurred “sometime between 8 PM Wednesday [10/11/17] and 5:30 AM Thursday [10.12.17].” The thieves took Michelin 20” tires and sport-style rims from five GMC Acadias on the lot.
This theft follows a pattern of previous car parts thefts on Michigan lots. One similar theft resulted in $100,000 in damages after thieves ransacked 15 cars for electronic parts in May 2017. Anyone with information should call the Branch County Sheriff’s Department at 517-278-2325 ext. 2184. (Original article)
York, PA – Reported 10.13.17
Crashed Stolen Vehicle Sparks Further Investigation
In the morning hours of 10.11.17, police responded to an unregistered crashed white Dodge Ram stolen from a local car dealership. Police found a broken window at the dealership, presumably caused by the burglars in their search for keys.
While officers investigated the crash, two more unregistered cars drove past the scene, prompting police pursuit. However, neither the vehicles nor their drivers were apprehended. If you have any information, please contact the York County Crime Stoppers. (Original article)
Riverhead, NY – 10.13.17
Cruising Officer Makes Lucky Catch
A car storage lot caught a lucky break last Wednesday when a police officer heard tire thieves banging around the lot. The patrolling officer managed to chase off the thieves and called in K-9 units, but did not catch the miscreants.
Further investigation revealed that the tire thieves successfully made off with two sets of tires and rims at a neighboring dealership.
The general manager at the first dealership said that the police saved the dealership thousands of dollars. “We have a $2,500 deductible for each incident, each separate theft. A wheels and tire package is about $2,600, so it wouldn’t be worth filing a claim,” he told local reporters, adding that doing so would raise the dealership’s insurance premiums. Congratulations on great deterrence, Riverhead Police Department! (Original article)
Farmington Hills, MI – Reported 10.13.17
Dealer Catches Identity Thief Before “Purchase” With Checklist
Police charged a second man in connection with a “title-washing” vehicle theft scheme, committing identity theft and mail fraud.
Back in 9.27.17, a savvy dealership owner in Charlotte, North Carolina noticed that a request to purchase a 2014 Range Rover seemed a bit off. As it happens, the dealership has a fraud checklist it runs through as a first check to see if a request for purchase is valid. According to the news story, the checklist asks:
- Is the purchaser out of state?
- Is there a down payment?
- Is the car a “luxury” vehicle?
- Are there pending inquiries with credit bureaus for the customer involved?
- Did the customer try to negotiate?
Apparently, this particular purchase failed the checklist in several areas. So, the dealer did an online search of the applicant, which revealed different photographs of the alleged purchaser and the online “real” identity. This was enough information for the dealer to refuse the request, and inform the Farmington Hills Police Department of the attempted fraudulent purchase.
The police set up a sting, where they waited until the identity theft signed for the “delivery” of the Range Rover with the fake identity. Nice grab—and great work on that North Carolina dealer to stop this identity thief in his tracks. (Original article)
Johnson City, TN – Reported 10.13.17
Dealership Car Theft Pre-Empts Juvenile Burglary Efforts
Back on 10.4.17, a local dealership discovered its fence gate damaged as thieves made off with a 2014 Kia Sorento. A week later, authorities found the vehicle, but no suspects. A similar crime occurred at another dealership, during which thieves took two sets of car keys from the office and stole a 2015 Mercedes C300—to which yet another dealership’s stolen tag was attached.
A slew of residential burglaries occurred after this auto theft, until police spotted the stolen Mercedes. The officer tried to stop the car, but a chase ensued, ending in a crash that endangered the driver and the car’s four juvenile passengers. The driver and several occupants admitted their crimes to police, who arrested them.
Police returned the stolen residential property to their rightful owners; however, the Mercedes suffered “significant damage” in the crash. It will be returned to the dealership. (Original article)