Gone In 60 Seconds? More like gone in 42 days.
We're not exactly strangers to cases of high quantity car theft thanks to bold criminals who can get away with stealing hundred's of thousands of dollars worth of wheels in a single night or Audi thieves that can walk away with seven cars in one go, but we haven’t quite seen a case like this before. That’s because the Daily Breeze has just brought a massive wave of theft to light that involved thieves stealing over 40 Nissan and Infiniti models from a single dealership.
The victim of the crime is Infiniti of South Bay and Nissan of South Bay, which has a storage lot in Torrance, California that holds over 500 cars. The dealership kept these cars handy for customers that wanted particular colors and options, ensuring that they didn’t have to wait for the factory to churn out a new model specifically for them. Unfortunately, various criminals, 15 of which have been arrested, saw the lot as an easy target for theft. Over an unknown period of time (estimated to be around 6 weeks), the alleged gang members broke into the lot, wedged open the lockboxes containing keys, and made off with a total of 40 Nissans and Infinitis. Nobody noticed the problem thanks to the sheer number of cars on the lot.
The theft only surfaced when police chased a fleeing Infiniti and captured a woman and a man with drugs and guns in the car (what a party). The Infiniti was then traced back to the dealership, which had no idea that the car was missing. Barry Wishengrad, managing general partner the dealer group, said, "When that first happened, we didn’t realize the problem." An inventory, which takes the dealership between a week to 10 days, uncovered the lost vehicles. "I was upset," Wishengrad said. "I’m trying to run a business and I’ve got thieves stealing my cars." Some of the unregistered vehicles were being used as getaway cars for various crimes while others were stripped for parts or sold under the table at steep discounts.
Some of the gearheaded thieves even used the cars as their personal hoon machines, avoiding the need to procure their own high-horsepower vehicles and keep a garage well stocked with tires. Torrence Police have recovered about 25 of the stolen cars and those in good condition will still be sold. Wishengrad doesn’t know how many of the stolen cars will be covered by insurance, but at least he has taken measures to significantly beef up security at the lot. Take a note from Wishengrad and trim down your fantasy car lot a bit to avoid the problem. Also, get your shit together, California, we've experienced theft first hand in America's car theft capital.