$1.2 million in vehicles, including $158,000 car, 330 keys taken from Alabama auto dealership

www.al.com, William Thornton, April 10, 2024

Investigators are trying to learn who stole eight luxury vehicles valued at more than $1 million from an Arab auto dealership over the weekend.

The automobiles were taken from North Country Ford, with one - a 2023 Dodge Challenger Demon - estimated at more than $158,000.

Two of the vehicles have been recovered since the theft on Sunday, but whoever took them also made off with more than 330 keys from the dealership safe.

In all, the thieves took more than $1.2 million in merchandise.

General Manager Greg Anthony said, in more than 30 years in the business, he’s never seen a theft so sophisticated.

“Not this big, nothing to the magnitude of this,” Anthony said.

The dealership took to social media in hopes of recovering the keys:

Anthony said the break-in apparently happened about 12:28 a.m. Sunday, when the dealership’s cameras went black.

“We are still trying to determine how they got the camera system to stop working,” Arab Police Chief Shane Washburn said.

Someone entered the building by throwing a rock through a window in the service bay, he said. Once inside, police say they turned off security cameras and erased several hours of video footage.

Then, according to the dealership, the thieves plugged a computer into the dealership’s key safe and unlocked it.

“It looked like they took a laptop and went in there, took control of it, and popped it open and got all the keys,” Anthony said. “These cars are all push-button starts, so they just grab all the keys, throw them in a bag, and jump in a car, start it, then throw it to the next guy.”

One vehicle, a Jeep Wagoneer, was recovered near Blountsville, while a Ford Bronco Raptor was found in a Bessemer apartment complex.

After the burglars rolled the Demon off the showroom floor, they then pulled the door behind and locked it.

A cleaning crew on Sunday only discovered evidence of the theft from the broken glass. Anthony said he has since learned this same type of theft has been carried out at other auto dealerships around the state.

Arab police, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are currently involved.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Arab police at (256) 586-8124.

News article: https://www.al.com/news/2024/04/12-million-in-vehicles-330-keys-taken-from-alabama-auto-dealership.html