In what sounds like the story line from a famous car heist movie, two Bay Area luxury car dealers have been targeted by a team of car thieves who made away with over twenty high-end vehicles. Several police departments including a local vehicle theft task force are on the hunt for suspects.
NBC Bay Area news reports what appears to be professional car thieves executed heists at dealerships in Belmont and San Jose. Michael Zahari owns Formula 1 Motors in San Jose, and says that his surveillance footage shows several men breaking into the dealership on Friday morning, targeting specific cars and making off with 5 vehicles.
"As soon as they grabbed the keys there was about seven guys running in the lot, picking the cars they want — the more expensive ones — and driving off with the cars one by one...These people definitely knew what they were doing....They did it very fast...If I were to guess — five seconds?""
According to Zahari, one of the suspects grabbed a board with about 40 keys, then the thieves made off with two supercharged Range Rover SUVs, a BMW, Mercedes-Benz and a Porsche. Several vehicles had a retail value of more than $200,000.
In another heist that police say may be related, a Belmont dealership was hit early Sunday morning when numerous suspects scaled the fence at Mercedes Benz Autobhan Motors and stole several vehicles that were parked to be serviced or repaired.
"We don't know what their motive was for taking the cars...All we know is there has got to be a certain amount of organization to take the vehicles. It's doubtful this was a spur of the moment decision on their part." - Belmont Police Captain Patrick Halleran
Most of the vehicles in the Belmont case were recovered shortly after the robbery in Oakland. San Mateo police made two arrests on suspects that allegedly were involved in an auto heist back in August. Authorities are investigating to find out if all of these thefts are related. Police say each of the incidents have several similarities and multiple departments are are working together catch the theives.
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