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An Illinois used luxury car dealership caught video of thieves stealing 14 cars in one night, totaling nearly $1 million. This high-end dealership lost several luxury cars in the theft, including multiple Audis, Mercedes, and some Porsches. Car theft on the streets isn’t the only crime on the rise. 

man breaks into a car with a crowbar
A man wearing a balaclava about to break open the side door of a vehicle | Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Thieves make good with nearly $1 million in stolen luxury cars

According to NBC 5 Chicago, the massive theft occurred between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. Monday morning at Autobarn Collection, a dealership in Evanston, Illinois. Not only did the thieves steal valuable luxury cars like Mercedes, Porsche, and Audi, but they stole 14 units total. Losing that many cars amid this inventory shortage must be devastating to any dealer.

How did the car thieves manage to steal so many cars?

These days, car tech has left some gaps in car security. We are seeing more and more stories of people’s key fobs getting hacked, or even the car itself (read “Tesla”) getting taken over by someone at a computer thousands of miles away.

Well, that wasn’t exactly the case here. These luxury car thieves went the old-school route of smashing windows and bypassing security. 

“Over the course of five hours, they made three separate trips,” dealership partner Sam Mustafa said. “It was shocking.” Instead of hacking the cars or some other comic book cat burglar stuff, once, inside the dealership, the goons smashed open the key lock box and helped themselves to the loot. 

“It doesn’t feel like these criminals are scared to be caught or prosecuted, which is a little scary for us,” he said. “It’s terrifying to think that they were just in here shopping.”

Car thieves are getting bold

Shadowy figure sitting in a car
A shadowy figure sitting in a car | Nicolas Armer/picture alliance via Getty Images

This is not the first time we’ve heard similar stories like this one. Brazen theft is running rampant. A new study came out about the rise in violent carjackings, particularly done by teenagers as a sort of game or hobby. 

Carjackings and car theft rates have blown through the roof. Philadelphia is already on track to double its carjackings from last year. Chicago alone had over 1,900 carjackings in 2021, the highest number in decades. And other major cities across the country are seeing similar trends. In some cases, many of these crimes happen in broad daylight, even in traffic. 

The kind of bold confidence seen in the security footage of the massive car theft in Evanston is consistent with patterns that researchers see across the country. Although having cars stolen isn’t ideal by any means, the more frustrating thing is that drivers are also reporting a continuing rash of catalytic converter thefts. 

Is stealing luxury cars more risky? 

Besides the multiple Porsches, Mercedes, and Audis, the thieves also stole a 2013 Bentley and a 2018 Maserati Levante. The Bentley, more than others, isn’t the most inconspicuous car on the road. Area police mentioned that they felt confident that some of the more high-end cars might not be too hard to find. However, this shows that the boldness of car thieves is certainly up. 

Mustafa says that even after insurance, the dealership will still have to shell out $100k in damages. “It’s going to be substantial,” he said. “Insurance doesn’t pay for everything. There’s a victim here. It’s not just as simple as filing some paperwork and recouping everything.”


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