O'FALLON, IL (KTVI)-- Thieves in O’Fallon, IL appear to be taking “smash and grab” burglary to a new level. Early Monday morning two cars were snatched off the showroom floor at Auffenberg Hyundai. The crooks got into the dealership, then smashed the two cars through the window.
“It was just pretty dramatic, like something you’d see out of a movie,” Det. William Barlock of the O’Fallon Police Department said.
None of the officers we spoke to could remember such a theft from a car dealership before. Both vehicles were brand new, and on display near the front window. The thieves drove them out and headed for north St. Louis.
“Nothing surprises, me anymore,” Captain Jeff Wild said. “Again it’s obviously unique to take a car off the showroom floor, especially when you’re driving through a door and causing damage to an expensive vehicle.”
One of the features on one of those vehicles is a GPS system that led officers to one of the cars. It was found on Penrose St. in north city. Once the first car was located, detectives began looking for the second.
“Driving down different neighborhood blocks in that area and we located the second vehicle that was taken,” Det. Barlock said.
He admitted, with a laugh, that he was surprised the two cars were found so close together.
While officers aren’t worried about a rash of smash and grab car thefts, they say they are looking closely at a theft that took place a day earlier at the dealership next door. A car was taken from Newbold Toyota the previous afternoon.
“It was a little bit different,” Barlock said. “These cars at Auffenberg were taken in the middle of the night. The other one was someone requesting to see a vehicle from a salesman, and once they obtained the keys they were able to steal the vehicle at that point during business hours.”
Just the same, they aren’t ruling out a connection.
Police are still looking for suspects in both cases. In the Auffenberg case, they believe there ‘s a good chance the thieves live in the area of Penrose St. in north city where the two cars were found.
The Auffenberg dealership had no comment.