Thieves target car lots - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thieves target car lots

November 3, 2006

Albany -- In the last two weeks at least five Albany used car dealerships have been burglarized, and their cars stolen. The damage to the businesses is in the tens of thousands of dollars.

 The dealers say it's kids, going for joyrides.  And it could be you in danger.

  Workers fix the broken windows at Bill Chambers Motors on West Oglethorpe. Overnight someone broke in the office, and nearly knocked down their service shop stealing a car inside, causing thousands of dollars in damage. Billy Chambers said "to the office, ten to twelve thousand dollars. To the shop, two doors are going to be one thousand dollars each. And the pilings, if you notice, they busted the pilings in."

A 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer was stolen, and found abandoned in South Albany Friday morning. The 18 thousand dollar car totaled. Chambers said "these kids, and it's gotta be kids that did it. These kids they have gotta have some accountability."

  Danny McDonald said "I don't know what they hit there. Hit there, and in the front, yeah." Just blocks up the street, Danny McDonald checks out six cars that were stolen off his Uncle Robert's Used car lot early Thursday morning.

They smashed them through his front gate, after breaking into his office and ransacking it. McDonald said "stealing six cars in one night, it does hurt the small businessman. " How much damage do you think they did to you with that one break in? "probably twenty thousand dollars."

 In the last two weeks, at least five dealerships in the downtown Albany area have been the target of break ins, looking to steal cars.

 All the owners say they think it is kids, just 12 or 13 years old, looking to joy ride in the stolen cars. All have been abandoned and recovered, but most were wrecked.

Chambers said the young thieves obviously don't worry about the cops, most of the lots are just down the road from Police Headquarters. Chambers said "I guess they were pretty smart. We can break into an office two blocks from the Police Department, and they won't even be looking for us."

The dealers also say they worry about anyone on the road meeting one of these young kids in a stolen car. They say all the dents show they can't drive, and are a menace to anyone they meet.

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