The Eyewitness National Crime Alert for October 30, 2017
These incidents were reported across the country from 10.16.17 to 10.29.17
Editor’s Note: Our apologies for the delay of the National Crime Alert! We had a multiple-day company-wide professional development meeting last week that postponed the reporting. So today, you’ll get two weeks’ worth in a single update!
West Palm Beach, FL — 10.16.17
Car Thief Ignores Stun Gun, But Not Cop’s Punch
Back on 10.6.17, police received a tip from a GPS tracking service for a dealership’s 2016 Audi A-S7, stolen “with the keys still inside.” When police arrived on the scene, the driver (and car thief) escaped. They tried to immobilize him with a stun gun to no avail.
It took an officer tackling then punching the thief in the face to bring the man into custody. When there, authorities discovered the keys to the stolen Audi along with three other vehicle keys on his person. The man stands accused of “grand theft, resisting arrest without violence, driving with a suspended license, and eluding law enforcement,” according to the incident write-up. (Original article)
Lewes, DE — 10.17.17
“Racial Slur” Vandals Arrested
Police arrested two young men accused of vandalizing school buses with “profanity and racial slurs,” according to the media report. Authorities connected these two with previous episodes at a movie theater parking lot and a local dealership. No word on how much their vandalism cost the businesses to repair. (Original article)
York, NE — Reported 10.17.17
$200K Lost in Tools Despite CCTV Security Cameras
A local automotive business lost over $200,000 in tools, equipment, and vehicles in the early hours of 10.15.17. Three diagnostic scanners, a technician’s six-foot tool box and a tool cart — both full of tools — as well as miscellaneous missing tools from other employees. The thieves also tried to steal a computer, but dropped it by the door on their way out.
CCTV footage shows the thieves pulling into the business’s parking lot with a stolen trailer at 4:48 AM and spending an hour there stealing from the business. Police officers responding to the burglary found the music equipment that originally filled the stolen trailer scattered across the automotive business as the thieves made room for the more valuable tools.
Anyone who knows anything about this theft should contact the York Police Department at 402–363–2640 for a possible cash reward. (Original article)
Madison, WI — 10.17.17
(An) Eyewitness Reports Tire Theft to Police
A West Side automotive dealership lost four rims and tires early Tuesday morning. A passerby reported the theft to police, where the thief found used tires from the dealership’s pile to prop up the car. Those with information should contact West Side Police Department. (Original article)
Brown County, WI — 10.17.17
$72K Lost in Tires, Trucks, and SUVs
Between midnight and 3:30 AM on 10.16.17, thieves stole 10 cars’ worth of tires and rims from eight trucks and two SUVs — and a 2017 white Ford R2CB Transit 250 MR van as their getaway car.
In all, the crooks took up to $72,000 in dealership inventory, not including damages or the value of the stolen van. The Brown County Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone with any knowledge of this crime to call 920–448–4230. (Original article)
St. Louis, MO — 10.17.17
Cardinal Buick GMC Donates Truck to Father of Hospital Patient After Theft
There’s nothing worse than when your young teenaged son is sick enough to go to the hospital…. Except when two men steal your truck from the parking garage with a tow truck.
While police have no leads as to the identity of these brazen thieves, two small silver linings shine.
The son’s colon surgery went well and he “feels better than he has in a while,” which is wonderful news. And, a local dealership donated a brand-new truck to the family to replace the stolen vehicle. Kudos to for their generosity, and we hope that the Trower family continues to do well. (Original article)
Madison, WI — 10.17.17
Swastika Graffiti Ruins 20 New Cars
Vandals destroyed 20 brand-new cars at a local dealership by carving swastikas into their hoods. Employees arrived at work to the graphic graffiti, along with punctured tires and keyed vehicle bodies. Damage estimates are not available, but will surely cost thousands in repairs and lost sales time.
Anyone with information should call the Crime Stoppers at 266–6014. (Editor’s note: We’d also like to say several… phrases to the two anonymous individuals who responded with heart eyes to this story on the original news site, but we’ll err on the side of professionalism, instead.) (Original article)
Sommerville, NJ — 10.17.17
Key Fob Swap Results in Stolen Cars, Convicted Two Years Later
A jury found one of two car theft suspects guilty of stealing an automobile and aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer among other charges resulting from a June 2013 theft of two vehicles.
The man and his brother-in-law walked onto a dealership lot on 6.25.13 to talk with a salesperson about two pre-owned cars. At some point during that encounter, they swapped the real key fobs with fake ones. Then, they returned to the lot during the midnight hours of 6.26.17 to simply drive off the lot with their stolen vehicles. The security company monitoring the business alerted the police to the theft, who pursued the stolen cars. The chase ended with crashed vehicles and injuries to a responding officer putting him out of commission for over a month.
DNA evidence and fingerprints in the stolen vehicles eventually led to the identification of the car thieves, one of whom was convicted by the Sommerville jury. He faces a max sentence of 15 years in prison without the prospect of parole for 11 of them. (Original article)
Bay City, MI — 10.18.17
Detroit Car Thieves Accept Plea Bargains
Four Detroit criminals sharing a whopping 36 felonies accepted plea deals in a case accusing them of trying to steal from a local dealership.
Dealership employees recounted the damage to lot vehicles, including broken rear windows and removed tires with “lug nuts and glass all over” the lot. Five vehicles had all of their tires missing, with each set costing around $3,000. No word on whether the missing tire sets have been returned. (Original article)
Memphis, TN — 10.18.17
Car Thieves Target Train
Local police may have disrupted a local car theft ring focused on stealing new cars entering Memphis by train. Someone broke into the CN Railroad Auto Port Facility on 10.12.17 to take four trucks, using one to break back onto the lot during the early morning of 10.17.17.
When police responded to the break-in, they discovered some twenty people trespassing on the lot. They all fled at the arrival of the authorities, except for two taken into custody. They admitted to police their intent to steal cars.
While there are surveillance cameras at the train lot, police will not release footage nor say what (if anything) they recorded. The police say they will do “whatever is necessary” to prevent a repeat of the break-in and thefts, according to the media report. (Original article)
Lincolnton, NC — Reported 10.19.17
Identity Thief Identified Before $90K “Purchase”
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office recently arrested a would-be identity thief before he could “purchase” a $90,000 Mercedes Benz from a local dealership. The dealership managed to identify the fraud before releasing the vehicle when the victim in Naples, Florida, called the dealership to ask why his credit was being checked in North Carolina.
The identity thief currently sits in jail under a quarter-million dollar bond for fraud and “attempting to obtain property by false pretense.” (Original article)
Anchorage, AL — 10.19.17
Why Were These Thieves Pushing a Porsche?
At 6 AM on 10.19.17, a police officer watched a group of people pushing “a brand-new Porsche” into a parking lot. When he approached to ask what in the world they were doing, the group ran away. Ninety minutes after the initial encounter, police took a 26-year-old man into custody, later charging him with vehicle theft and criminal mischief.
The (damaged) Porsche has made its way back to its dealership, as police write up more search warrants for other suspects in the theft. (Original article)
Hartford, CT — 10.19.17
Connecticut Car Thieves Target Dealership Key Stashes
Police warn local car dealerships after several break-ins to steal keys, later used to take their cars. One recent burglary resulted in a grand total of 56 keys taken from the dealership office. While they’ve arrested two suspects when they returned to the scene of a previous crime, police still urge increased caution, especially after-hours.
They added that increasing security measures should help deter future thefts of this ilk. “A high-quality surveillance system at one burglary assisted detectives with quickly identifying several suspects,” a letter to city businesses said. (Original article)
Oklahoma City, OK — 10.19.17
Do You Recognize These Thieves?
Two men tried to take a white SUV parked in the back lot of an Oklahoma City dealership, despite surveillance cameras and broad daylight. Failing to enter the SUV, they switch tactics to enter a Ford pickup truck, driving it off of the property.
If you recognize the two men in this surveillance footage, please contact the Crime Stoppers at 405–235–7300. (Original article)
West Bend, WI — Reported 10.21.17
Stolen Dodge Charger Magically Undamaged
A 2017 yellow Dodge Charger disappeared from a West Bend dealership’s showroom sometime between 3:20 and 6:30 AM on 10.19.17. However, authorities managed to recover the vehicle — miraculously undamaged — on the northeast side of Milwaukee.
Authorities currently have no suspects for the theft, though they are “continuing to work” on identification of the thieves, according to reports. (Original article)
Dayton, OH — 10.22.17
Three Cars Missing Tires From Dayton Dealership
Thieves stole three cars’ worth of tires from a local car dealership sometime during the weekend. Police arrived on site to find the cars sitting on concrete blocks and broken windows on the lot, but no suspects. (Original article)
Russellville, AR — 10.24.17
Bad Luck in Lottery Tickets
Russellville detectives tracked down two car thieves taking more than a dozen cars after finding lottery tickets left behind in a recovered stolen vehicle. By tracking the serial numbers to the dispensing gas station, the detectives were able to review surveillance footage corresponding with the tickets’ purchase to see the suspects.
To add insult to injury, the detectives say at least one of the tickets would’ve gotten the car thieves a money prize. (Original article)
Bangor, PA — 10.24.17
Used Trucks Missing from Pennsylvania Car Lot
Thieves took two four-wheel-drive Ford trucks from a Bangor automotive dealership sometime during the night between 10.23.17 and 10.24.17. The dealership still possesses both trucks’ keys, and broken glass on the lot indicates aggressive forced entry.
Together, the used trucks were being sold for around $38,800 — but the dealership will probably need to repair both vehicles before they can be sold, resulting in even more lost revenue. If you have any information on these thefts, please contact the police at 610–588–2040. (Original article)
Newark, NJ — Reported 10.25.17
Police Car Taken from Car Lot
A used car dealership lost a police car off its car lot, and the owner is worried the two thieves will use the car for “nefarious reasons.”
Security footage shows the two car thieves arriving on the site earlier that week. One took a test drive in another car with the lot salesman, while the second somehow obtained keys to a 2016 silver Ford Taurus from the dealership office and drove off the lot.
The Newark police say they believe they know the identities of the two thieves based on the security footage provided, and are currently working to obtain warrants. (Original article)
Grand Junction, CO — Reported 10.25.17
Fired Employee Returns to Steal $27K Truck
An ex-dealership employee was found breaking into his former employer’s dealership, trying to steal a truck to sell on the black market.
He’d been fired from the dealership the previous week, and had plans to meet the manager to retrieve his tools. However, the dealership’s manager got a phone call from two individuals who said they bought the dealership’s $27,000-valued 2008 Dodge truck for only $7,000. They only learned it was stolen when trying to register the vehicle. Police believe that the ex-employee used a leg chair to pry open the dealership’s doors to obtain the truck.
The man also allegedly stole a $3,500 scanner from his previous employer and tried to sell it on the side, as well. (Original article)
Milwaukee, WI — 10.25.17
Car Thefts Continue Despite Six In Custody
While police have six accused car thieves in custody, car thefts continue across the Milwaukee metro area. Two more dealership burglaries happened early last Wednesday morning.
At one dealership, thieves took electronics and a car from the business, leaving behind “extensive” damage. Another dealership suffered a break-in, and still another was broken into for a third time. (Thankfully, thieves were unable to take any cars at this last location because the keys are kept off-site.)
However, police warn that the suspected juvenile car thieves are making the streets increasingly dangerous, as underage illegal drivers crash stolen cars into property and innocent bystanders.
One victim dealership owner says that he believes that the car thieves in Milwaukee make up a small, manageable group able to be addressed before more theft occurs. He suggests that the city needs to “isolate the group, provide the services that are needed — whether incarcerating them [beyond the juvenile detention facility] or assisting them back into normal society.”
He added, “We need to [provide those services], and I don’t think we’re doing that.” (Original article)
Naples, FL — Reported 10.26.17
Inventory Shows Three Missing Porches; Inside Job Suspected
A luxury car dealership somehow misplaced three Porsche — and their key fobs — from their lot.
An employee noticed something suspicious on the lot, resulting in a (presumably overdue) car inventory. The check turned up three cars gone from the lot, along with their keys.
Police have no idea when the cars or keys were stolen, nor who the thieves might be. It’s suspected to be an inside job, considering keys are kept inside the locked dealership and there have been no signs of a break-in. (Original article)
Colorado Springs, CO — Reported 10.26.17
Test Drive Theft (Almost) Foiled by Dealership Policies
One dealership’s sales policies couldn’t quite save it from this test drive thief. Around midday on 10.23.17, a man strolled onto the car lot and asked to test drive a 2008 red Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. When told that the dealership didn’t allow test drives on “high-powered car” without credit preapproval, the thief switched gears and asked to hear what the car sounded like when on.
The salesman obliged, eventually allowing the thief to “feel the clutch” — whereupon he immediately threw the car into reverse and drove off the lot without looking for possible collisions or passersby. “If anyone was coming, it would’ve been tragic,” the dealership manager told local reporters.
The dealership plans to put GPS trackers into their high-value cars as an extra security precaution, to combat future theft and subsequent insurance premiums. (Original article)
Detroit & Decatur, MI — 10.26.17
Stolen Car Crashes Into Campground
Police arrested a Detroit resident for a car theft from a Decatur dealership last Tuesday. A dealership reported a stolen 2017 Infiniti Q50 to the police early that morning, and a police officer saw the stolen car while on patrol. Attempts to pull over the stolen vehicle resulted in a chase ending with the vehicle’s crash in a wooded campground.
The driver (and alleged car thief) went to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, and no one else was hurt in the incident. (Original article)
Cadillac, MI — 10.26.17
A Lot of Rims Stolen From Local Dealership
Sometime during the night between 10.24.17 and 10.25.17, someone stole “numerous tires and rims” from a dealership lot. Police responded to a theft complaint, but found no trespassers by the time arrived on the scene.
While the exact number of stolen goods is not reported, it’s enough that the police believe that the thieves may have needed a trailer to drive away with their haul. Anyone with information should please call the Michigan State Police Cadillac Post. (Original article)
Swanzey, NH — 10.27.17
Snowplow Stolen, $500 Reward Offered
Surveillance footage recorded two thieves stealing a $5,000 snowplow from a truck parked on a dealership’s car lot. The thieves arrived in a distinct truck, described by the dealership owner to the local reporter as “a blue or black Ford F250 or F350 from between 1999 and 2004. It has a custom aluminum bed, marker lights on the side and unique racks covering the rear window and behind the vehicle. Based on what looks like a Massachusetts inspection sticker, the truck’s plates are presumed to be from that state.”
If you have any information on this theft or the vehicle in question, please contact the Swanzey Police Department. You may receive a $500 reward for your help, and the dealership will donate another $500 to the Monadnock United Way charity once the plow is located. (Original article)