The manager at Matt Bowers Chevrolet in Slidell, Louisiana showed up to work this weekend to discover a full lot of cars raised on wooden blocks with their wheels missing, CNN reports. The thieves were kind enough to leave behind the lug nuts.
Here’s more on the big heist pulled off by Ocean’s Two, as per CNN:
“They defeated locks, alarms, surveillance video, and went as far as to manipulate the exterior lights in the parking lot so they could work in the dark of the night, completely undetected,” police said.
Slidell police suspect it was a job by a professional ring and said the thieves took approximately $120,000 worth of merchandise.
The duo, recorded on camera, made away with 124 wheels and tires reportedly loaded into the back of a U-Haul. If use my phone calculator to do some math, it tells me that’s 31 cars immobilized, assuming four wheels per car. (Were this a lot full of 1994 Toyota RAV4s with the spare wheel on the back, we’d be talking about 24 or 25 cars, give or take.)
You could almost say this was a perfect crime, as police claim it would be almost impossible to trace a wheel or tire back to the exact dealership it was stolen from unless you found the whole stash. It would make everything pretty easy to sell off for the thieves, as long as they aren’t identified by the security footage.
A dealership manager claimed the thieves specifically target 20-inch wheels and bigger, which are usually cast aluminum. Dealership wheel thefts happen a lot, too, and the crime is usually pretty quick as we’ve reported on before.
I guess it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep nearly everything on the lot on steelies until somebody buys the car, and reserve the showy wheels for the floor models. Or like, print a picture of the better wheels and tape it to the steelies on the cars outside.
The police reportedly estimate the value of the stolen wheels and tires at around $124,000. Meanwhile the owner of Matt Bowers Chevrolet has offered a $25,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the thieves, and the Sidell police chief said the search could expand beyond state borders if it had to.