Memphis police investigating string of car thefts at Covington Pike dealerships

Memphis police investigating string of car thefts at Covington Pike dealerships

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Thieves are getting away in some new rides after targeting multiple car dealerships in recent weeks.

Cliff Young owns Pro Auto on Elmore Road, right off Covington Pike. Thursday morning he was having the glass on his front door replaced after almost a dozen suspects broke into his business Wednesday night.

Surveillance video shows the crooks breaking out the glass and coming inside the business. One of them got in a car and another opened a drawer. They got what they came for.

“Took all the keys off the board and went out there and started hitting the clicker,” said Cliff Young, owner of Pro Auto.

Police say the crooks were activating the key fobs that would light up a car and that’s how they knew which cars the keys went to.

Young says they took off in nine of his vehicles, many of them pricey like Mercedes and Audis.

“That’s what I’ve done, pretty much dealing with this, and now I gotta call customers and tell them their car is gone,” said Young.

Covington Pike is lined with car dealers. Police say the crooks hit other car businesses in the area like Car Smart. The owner said they broke into the building but didn’t get any cars because he takes the keys home.

Johnnie B Automart was hit June 22. Surveillance video shows the suspects coming in, getting keys and taking off with five cars.

“We got really blessed and they didn’t get anything but older vehicles. My friends who are in the business have lost everything,” said John Buchanan, owner of Johnnie B Automart.

John Buchanan estimates 100 vehicles have been stolen from two auto auctions and dealerships in the past few months.

“Seem to be really young like 16 to 20 probably, but the amount of cars they are hiding it’s just ... I can’t fathom where they are putting them,” said Buchanan.

Police posted some of the video on their Facebook page and investigators may know who some of the suspects are. If you know, call Crime Stoppers at 901-628-CASH.

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