One arrested after thieves make away with vehicles, switch license plates at car dealership
Published 6:24 am Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Four vehicles that were stolen from an Alabama car dealership in the early hours of the morning Friday have been recovered, and one person has been arrested in connection to the case.
Andalusia Police Department Capt. Jamey Wismer said there has been a rash of these kinds of burglaries and thefts in recent months, with similar cases at Dodge dealerships in Pike, Lee and Montgomery counties.
“As soon as I heard we had a burglary, I knew it was the same thing,” he said. “We were immediately on the phone with Chris Inabinett at ALEA, and with his assistance, were able to begin locating the vehicles.”
Police Chief Paul Hudson said the Andalusia Police Department dispatched officers to Massey Automotive at about 7 a.m. Friday to investigate a burglary.
“While we were there, we determined there had been four vehicles stolen,” Hudson said. Those vehicles included a 2021 Laramie; a 2021 Dodge Challenger SXT; a 2019 Dodge Challenger; and a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500.
Based on evidence obtained during the investigation, it is believed the vehicles were stolen at about 2 a.m. Friday.
Officers also determined that the thieves had stolen the tags from several vehicles that were at the dealership awaiting repairs, and had placed the tags on the stolen vehicles.
“Working with ALEA and SBI, we were able to take the tags and put them into several systems,” Hudson said. “Because of that, we have recovered two vehicles – the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and the 2021 purple Dodge Challenger.”
The Birmingham Police Department arrested a suspect who was driving the 2021 purple Dodge Challenger, Hudson said. The vehicle was recovered in Bessemer, Alabama, and the suspect was charged with receiving stolen property, first degree. The suspect claimed to have purchased the vehicle from a “reputable used car dealer” for $2,500.
Chief Paul Hudson expressed his appreciation to ALEA and SBI for their assistance in the ongoing investigation and the recovery of the vehicles.
“Because of all of those agencies networking and sharing information, it was possible to recover the vehicles,” he said. “We appreciate their help.”