When we hear about things getting stolen from cars, we'd normally expect it to happen in poorly-lit streets or an area rampant with crime. One of the last places you'd expect any form of theft to happen is in a dealership.
But that's exactly what happened in Slidell, Louisiana. In a Chevrolet dealership, thieves managed to steal 124 wheels from cars sitting on the lot, leaving Malibus, Silverados, and many more standing on wooden blocks or on their brakes. With that many wheels stolen, it's no surprise that Slidell Police are saying that it was the work of a crew.
All in all, 31 cars were affected by the theft, and the heist itself was elaborate, says the police. The wheel thieves managed to disable alarms, defeat locks, shut off several surveillance cameras, and even turn off some lights in their favor. By the looks of it, it seems that those who took part in the grand larceny scouted the area for quite some time. They were quick too, says police, as they reckon the 124 wheels were gone in about 40 minutes. One surveillance camera recorded a large truck pulling into the dealership with a group of individuals, and left the area in less than an hour.
With planning and speed of that scale, it's safe to say that this was the work of professionals and not a random act. The ransacked dealership, Matt Bowers Chevrolet, said that the stolen wheels were worth more than $120,000, which is about Php 6.2 million. That puts each wheel at around Php 50,000 apiece and do take note that these are OEM wheels. Those who stole the wheels were selective too, as the 31 vehicles affected rode on 20-inch rims wrapped in wide tires. Ladies and gentlemen, that might be your motive right there; of course that's all speculation until we hear it from the authorities.
If an incident like this could happen in a developed country, what could local dealerships do to prevent something like this from happening? Investing in extra security would help a lot, but thieves these days have become more high-tech and determined than before, as seen in this case. Perhaps this serves as a wake up call to dealerships, both local and abroad, to tighten security before it's too late. As for your personal ride, investing in a locking wheel nut could spare you the hassle of seeing your car propped up on bricks.
Source: Slidell Police Department