- Police in Louisiana are investigating a recent theft at a Chevrolet dealership.
- Authorities believe that members of a “professional theft ring” stole over $US100,000 worth of tires and rims off of vehicles left in the dealership’s lot.
- Police say there are two suspects who “defeated locks, alarms, surveillance video, and went as far as to manipulate the exterior lights in the parking lot so they could work in the dark of the night, completely undetected.”
- They replaced all the tires with wooden blocks.
- The owner is offering a $US25,000 reward.
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Authorities in Louisiana are investigating a recent $US120,000 theft at a Chevrolet dealership. But according to a statement from the Slidell Police Department shared on Facebook, it seems that the suspects had something specific in mind – the only parts stolen were tires and rims.
The dealer’s manager realised the parts were missing on Saturday morning and called the police, according to the statement.
In total, 124 tires and wheels were stolen off of 31 vehicles, totaling an estimated $US120,000.
Based on security footage that has been reviewed, police have reason believe there are two suspects behind the theft and are searching for the men.
According to the statement, the suspects arrived at the property around 3 a.m. on Saturday.
“They defeated locks, alarms, surveillance video, and went as far as to manipulate the exterior lights in the parking lot so they could work in the dark of the night, completely undetected,” the statement said.
Then, police believe the suspects loaded the tires and rims onto a U-Haul truck and drove away. According to police, “the only thing the thieves left behind were some wooden blocks used to prop up the vehicles, and a car jack.”
Matt Bowers, the owner of the dealership, is offering a $US25,000 reward to whoever comes forward with information regarding the suspects that leads to arrest and conviction.
Police say that it appears that the suspects are members of a “professional theft ring.” They pointed out similarities to two recent thefts at Chevrolet dealerships in Texas and Oklahoma.
“I believe it was targeted, but it’s not the dealership that was targeted, it’s the vehicle,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal told CNN.
In February, $US60,000 worth of tires and rims were stolen off of vehicles at Cutshaw Chevrolet in Grapeland, Texas, according to the Palestine Herald-Press. The suspects also fled in a U-Haul truck.
There was also a similar incident in December 2018 when 132 tires and wheels were stolen from a Jim Norton Chevrolet in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, ABC 8 Tulsa reported at the time.
“Although we cannot rule out that the suspects are local, we believe they are not from this area,” the Slidell Police Department said in the statement on Facebook.
“We won’t put up with it here,” Fandal told CNN. “This won’t be the first time we travel out of state to come find you. You are probably the same ones who did it in Texas and Oklahoma but now you’ve done it here.”
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