Thieves strike auto dealership, 3 cars stolen - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thieves strike auto dealership, 3 cars stolen

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October 20, 2007

Dougherty County -- Tire marks still remain in front of Jack Stone's Creekside Auto Sales; left behind by vehicles stolen right off the lot.

Bryan LaSalle, a Creekside Auto employee, received a call that the alarm system had been tripped. We he went to check out the problem, he confronted the thieves, a truck load of them, breaking into cars.

"I pulled in, and there was a tan Suburban sitting in the driveway. It looked like a '98 model, sporty, with tinted windows. When I pulled in, he skids out of here. One of our red Ford trucks that was missing, skids out of here and leaves," he says.

But it didn't stop there. LaSalle, who was inside his personal vehicle, was chased down by one of the stolen cars.

He said, "I turn around, and here comes our '04 gray Oldsmobile Alero coming after me, and it runs into the ditch as I'm turning."

The driver of the stolen Alero tried to ram LaSalle's van in this ditch. The car then took off down the Liberty Expressway; at one time crashing into this light post outside of a Flash Foods.

The thieves used two methods to try to get inside Jack Stone's Creekside Auto Sales. It was just around 9:30 when they first tried to get in through the window. You can see here the screen is busted. When that didn't work, they moved to the doorway. They were able to kick in the door, and you can still see a foot print where the door was initially kicked in. Now when the thieves got inside, it was about 9:32 and the alarm went off. But the thieves were able to make away with 3 cars and 11 different sets of car keys.

"When they left, they were in 3 different vehicles; a green Ford Contour, a sliver Oldsmobile Alero, and red Ford F-150. A look out was put on the truck, and one of the dealership members spotted the truck on Slappey. The city police responded to that, and pulled over that vehicle," said Dougherty County Police Lt. M. J. Wood.

The Ford F-150 was back at the dealership Saturday after three people inside the stolen truck lead police on a foot chase.

Police caught one of the suspects, a 14-year-old juvenile, who was arrested. By Saturday afternoon, three juveniles were seen abandoning the stolen gray Alero off of South Madison in Albany, which police dusted for prints.

With several juvenile suspects still on the loose, police say auto thefts, juvenile or not, is a very serious crime.

"Anytime anyone steals a car it's a felony charge. It's something we take very seriously," said Wood.

The juveniles last seen abandoning the stolen Alero were described as black males, wearing red T-shirts. They were last seen near the corner of Mercer and Madison.

Police are still looking for a green '98 Ford Contour with tinted windows and drive off tags. There is a five hundred dollar reward offered for information leading to the arrests of the suspects.