Tips, Tricks & Trends

Showroom Car Theft Involves More Than You Think

Many times failures are good because you learn something and can adjust for the next time. In this case, a thief will be able to judge distances better in future swindles. He or she found out a showroom car theft involves more than one would think. It seems a thief or thieves decided to steal this new Dodge Challenger 50th Anniversary Edition from a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealership showroom in O’Fallon, Illinois. This after vandalizing a series of cars parked overnight at the neighboring Home Depot. 

Attempted theft | Shambahla87 Reddit

“We did have several vehicles that were broken into on the Home Depot parking lot overnight,” O’Fallon Police Captain Dave Matevey told the O’Fallon Weekly. “The vehicles belonged to Home Depot employees who were working an overnight shift.  Around the same time, Auffenberg Chrysler Jeep was also burglarized.  The suspects smashed out a large glass window to gain access to the dealership and attempted to steal a Dodge Challenger.”

RELATED: 10 Most Stolen New Vehicles In America

Having poor judgment attempting grand theft might mean having poor judgment of distances

Having poor judgment by attempting grand theft might mean having a poor judgment of distances and space. We’re not sure if there is a correlation but who knows? “ The Dodge Challenger became lodged in the frame of the building when the suspects attempted to drive the vehicle out of the dealership, and they were unsuccessful in stealing the vehicle.  Auffenberg reports no other vehicles were taken from the dealership,” said Matevey.

Once the suspects were done attempting grand theft they fled. The police believe the same suspects were involved in both the Home Depot incident and the attempted Challenger theft. Besides the damage you see to the Challenger the dealership had door damage and a lot of broken glass to contend with. 

The O’Fallon Police Department is looking into possible suspects. It is not known if the dealership had security cameras recording the whole episode. We hope it did.

Car theft of dealership showrooms is happening more than ever

Maybe the impaired judgment was thinking they could just deflect the door framing by stabbing the Challenger through it? Or maybe it really was a case of not being able to judge that the Challenger was wider than the door openings? Whatever the case did you know that thieves are targeting dealerships more than ever?

That’s because the days of hot-wiring cars are pretty much over. With new vehicle electronics, you really need a key. Some dealerships store keys in an easily accessible place with vehicle identification. Others use lockboxes. A thief can go to the key storage or lockbox and drive off of the lot without having to damage the vehicle.

The recovery rate for stolen cars in the US is between 50-60%

Thieves also target dealers close to ports so the vehicle can be taken right to the dock for shipping to another country. Usually, they use a shipping container so as not to attract attention. So what is the recovery rate for stolen cars in the US? Between 50-60%. If it’s an organized theft ring upwards of 30 cars have been taken in one heist. 

Obviously, the thieves involved in the Challenger escapade were not professionals, nor were they very smart. At least for them stealing a car from a showroom was not as easy as it looked.