Although they were thoughtful enough to leave the cars on wooden blocks.
In what could be the plot to the strangest Gone In 60 Seconds parody ever, yet another police department has taken to Facebook to report that a dealership had been rampaged by thieves. But instead of stealing cars, the thieves made off with 124 sets of wheels and tires. According to the Slidell Police Department, a manager at Matt Bowers Chevrolet in Slidell, Louisiana arrived to work this past Saturday to find 31 vehicles sitting on wooden blocks with their wheels nowhere to be found. The vehicles ranged from trucks and SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Silverado to cars and crossovers like the Malibu and Blazer. It’s estimated that the total cost of the stolen wheels surpasses $120,000.
Cameras at the dealership managed to capture two suspects walking across the dealership lot at 3:00 a.m. to cut locks to the entrance, and soon after a U-Haul truck follows them in. Just 40 minutes later, the truck is seen leaving the dealership, presumably with the stolen wheels inside. These crooks weren’t any petty thieves either, as Detective Daniel Seuzeneau writes. "At this point of the investigation, it appears these thieves were no amateurs. 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.” He goes on to mention that this theft may be connected to other well-orchestrated wheel thefts we’ve seen in Texas, Oklahoma, and Michigan.
The suspects didn’t leave a squeaky clean crime scene though. Aside from the wooden blocks propping up the cars, a floor jack was found underneath a Tahoe, and each car still had lug nuts littered near its exposed brake discs. Obviously the dealership is not very happy about this, but if the thieves really are part of a professional wheel theft ring as seems to be the case, it’s likely the stolen wheels will never be found. Matt Bowers, the dealership’s owner, is offering a $25,000 reward to anyone who provides the information leading to the thieve’s capture. Good luck with that.