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36 Cars Stolen in June From Michigan Dealerships

Thieves in Michigan seem to have a sweet tooth for horsepower. They have broken into multiple dealerships in the last month and stolen many cars. This as many localities are considering defunding police departments in the wake of recent countrywide unrest. The cars stolen have ranged from new Hyundais to high-end used vehicles, including a Bentley Continental GT.

A red Bentley Continental GT V8 pulls under a backlit garage door
The Bentley New Continental GT V8 | GEOFF ROBINS/AFP via Getty Images

Dealership break-ins are happening more often

Dealership break-ins are happening more often now because car keys are typically in a back room or in a lockbox. Rather than hotwiring a car as in days of old, it is easier to break into a dealership, find the location for the keys, and walk off the showroom floor with the keys in hand for multiple vehicles. According to the NHTSA, a vehicle is stolen every 40.9 seconds, and everybody is a target for vehicle theft.

According to Carsurance.com, 

“California has the highest motor vehicle theft rate in the United States.

Albuquerque in New Mexico is the city with the highest stolen car reports across the nation.

Currently, 209 vehicle thefts happen daily because the owner left the keys inside.

The state where theft rates are the lowest is Vermont.”

There goes the Bentley, surveillance footage

In this particular case, footage from a dealership’s cameras captured one of the incidents. That footage was shared through a local news broadcast in a clip below. The footage also shows the damage that ensues.

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The car being driven through the doors of European Autohaus is a used Bentley Continental GT. The car was listed on their website at $39,995. The Continental GT models originally sticker over $200,000 and have over 500 horsepower. 

Unfortunately we were broken into last night like many of the car dealers in west michigan have been dealing with over…

Posted by European Autohaus on Monday, June 22, 2020

Police in the Grand Rapids area are also finding that the stolen vehicles are sometimes used in other crimes. Several arrests have already been made in connection with the other thefts. Most the those arrested were juveniles. The investigation is still ongoing. In the case with European Autohaus’s Bentley, the car has been recovered. 

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Dealership break-ins happening nationwide

Dealership break-ins are not isolated to Michigan. Last month Motorbiscuit reported on $2.7 million worth of Dodge vehicles being stolen from a dealership in California. There was also a Honda dealership break-in that resulted in a vehicle theft.

The built-in security in a lot of modern-day cars has a way of giving away the GPS location of a car. If the security is not built into the car itself, it might be built into the key fob or the TPMS sensors on the tires. That is why a lot of stolen cars are used for nefarious purposes, and then quickly dumped. In the past, vehicles would be stolen and then broken down for parts sales. But, that takes too long today, when a GPS sensor can give someone away quickly. So, it will not be surprising to have most of the stolen vehicles in recent months turn up. Although according to statistics, many of those recovered vehicles will sadly have some form of damage. In the meantime, in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, unfortunately, June’s pace of dealership break-ins is trending upwards.