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Thieves Stole Six $95K Dodge Challenger Hellcats From Dealership in Just 45 Seconds

Stolen cars had keys inside.

Those car dealer lots—filled with rows and rows of shiny new cars, they look like you could just pick one and drive it away. You can't. But thieves in Kentucky apparently could, and they did it six times. The robbers managed to steal six brand-new 2023 Dodge Challenger Hellcats cars from a Louisville car dealership in the middle of the night. It's not an isolated incident: Other thefts of multiple cars from dealerships have been reported in the city and in other states in recent weeks. Read on to find out more. 

Four Cars Stolen In Less Than a Minute


The cars were stolen from the Don Franklin Chrysler Dealership in Somerset around 2 a.m. in late February, WDRB reported. Six people broke through the back door of the dealership and drove the cars off the showroom lot, said Adam Bryant, the dealership's general manager. It only took 45 seconds for the thieves to nab all the cars. Each of them is worth up to $95,000.

Stolen Cars Had Keys Inside


Some of the cars were already sold to customers and were waiting to be picked up. All had keys inside. Four out of the six cars have been located, LEX 18 reported. One car was totaled, and Somerset police have rounded up the other three. Authorities were able to track the fifth car through GPS; it's located somewhere in Alabama, WDRB reported. The sixth car is still at large.

One Arrest, Many Charges


One man was arrested on March 1 in connection with the thefts, WTVQ reported. According to an arrest citation, Cavese Jones, 19, was seen driving a stolen car beside three other stolen cars on a parkway. An officer attempted to pull them over when the cars "accelerated to speeds in excess of 180 mph." Three drivers got away, but officers were able to use spike strips to stop the car allegedly driven by Jones.

He was arrested and charged with speeding, reckless driving, wanton endangerment, fleeing or evading police, receiving stolen property, failure of non-owner operator to maintain required insurance, and resisting arrest.

Similar Theft, Same City, Price Tag: $100,000


Car thefts are "alarmingly high" in Louisville, WDRB reports. More than 500 motor vehicle thefts have been recorded this year. In mid-February, four cars worth around $100,000 were stolen from a used car lot in less than two minutes, the news outlet says.

The owner of the dealership says he watches the 90-second surveillance video over and over. "It's very tough to swallow when someone takes from you something they don't deserve," said Ron Abell of Abell & Gillihan. "It's devastating, you work hard and you try to help our community out here with nice automobiles." In that case, the thieves broke in through the back door and got the vehicles' keys from a lockbox.

Similar Incident in North Carolina


A similar theft occurred in Charlotte, North Carolina, in late February and may be connected to a string of car thefts in that state, WSOC reports. Thieves were caught on camera breaking the glass facade of the dealership with cinder blocks. They grabbed keys from behind a desk and drove the cars through the front of the store. The stolen vehicles included BMWs and a Maserati totaling $310,000. The theft took less than two minutes.

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Keep Keys Locked Up, Commenter Suggests

Woman opening modern safe indoors.

Some online commenters wondered why the dealerships didn't keep the car keys in a safe or prevent cars in the showroom from being driveable.  "It's not hard to remove a battery from a car so it can't be driven off the showroom," said one. "Cadillac was doing that in 1970 when my parents looked at cars. Nothing electrical worked on the car on the floor."

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