ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - Thieves have been stealing expensive truck parts and leaving behind pickups that were damaged and impossible to drive. It’s happened in St. Louis and Jefferson Counties. It costs the dealership or pickup owner about $5,000 in repairs and replacing parts for each incident.
Elvir Kulovic is the general sales manager of John Weiss Toyota in south St. Louis County. He said the wheels and rims were removed from two of his pickups. The crimes cost about $10,000. He added, “It’s an added cost for a dealership like this.”
Surveillance video showed the suspects in action in Arnold. They pulled up in a stolen GMC pickup to steal the tires and rims from another GMC pickup. It took them only minutes. In that case, the vehicle was personally owned, it was not the property of a dealer.
The suspects have hit three dealers over five days beginning July 26th. Jim butler Chevrolet lost a dozen wheels and rims at two locations.
“We are disappointed that people in today’s world would stoop to this type of thievery. We are in the process of updating our security cameras and countermeasures so we can catch thieves in the act,” Jim Butler Dealership writes in a statement. They say the new system went online today.
A Suntrup facility was hit. And, so was John Weiss Toyota, twice on two different days.
“It’s the world we live in. You’d expect better from people, all you can do is hope they catch them and it doesn’t happen to anyone else," said Elvir Kulovic.
Two days ago FOX 2’s Andy Banker showed a video from Kirkwood Police of potential suspects stealing cars in which owners left the key in the ignition. A total of 16 cars were taken across west St. Louis County in the past week. Detectives will check to see if the same criminals responsible for the stolen cars are the same ones who are stealing the tires and rims.
Although there are a lot of car dealerships in the St. Louis area, one dealer said they are a tight community. When something like this is happening they work together, share information and surveillance video and help the police in efforts to catch the suspects.