Thieves Steal 124 Wheels From Louisiana Car Dealer In One Night
Over $120,000 in tires and wheels were stolen off vehicles parked at Matt Bowers Chevrolet in Slidell, Louisiana, on Saturday night — an impressive feat, you have to admit. According to various local reports, surveillance footage shows two subjects walking across the parking lot in order to cut the locks to a side entrance, where they brought in a U-Haul. Roughly 40 minutes later, the truck exited the lot onto a service road with more than 124 stolen rounds.
Based on the quick turnaround, authorities believe the suspects must have snuck onto the lot several hours earlier to prep the tires for transport. They’re operating under the impression that the individuals are likely from out of state and part of a ring that conducted similar crimes in Texas and Oklahoma.
KNOE News reported on a Wednesday press conference featuring Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal, who suggests that the thieves were professionals and made a clear effort to minimize their presence at the scene of the crime. He added that the thieves manipulated the property’s lighting to help avoid detection and noted that the alarms and several cameras were deactivated.
“I believe it was targeted, but it’s not the dealership that was targeted, it’s the vehicle,” Fandal said. “Similar incidents have occurred across the country, specifically in Texas and Oklahoma, and it was the exact M.O.”
In February, Cutshaw Chevrolet in Grapeland, Texas, saw roughly 16 Chevy vehicles stripped of their wheels. CNN reported that, similar to the Louisiana incident, the thieves left the vehicles on wooden blocks.
“They are very selective on tires,” said Michael Cutshaw, general manager of the Texas dealership. “They go for the 20s and 22s that are on cast aluminum wheels.”
Matt Bowers, owner of the Louisiana dealership, is currently offering a $25,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the suspects who robbed him. “I like to follow up and say that we won’t put up with it here,” Fandal said during the news conference. “This won’t be the first time we travel out of state to come find you.”
[Images: Slidell Police Department]
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