Crooks steal expensive rims off high-priced SUVs - CBS46 News

Crooks steal expensive rims off high-priced SUVs

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Clayton County police are looking for thieves who have been ripping off car dealerships across metro Atlanta.

They have hit at least three on Jonesboro Road.

The thieves have stripped hundreds of thousands of dollars in rims and wheels from high-priced SUVs in car lots in Clayton County.

The crooks sneak in at night, jack up the SUVs, slide cinder blocks underneath them, then swipe the rims.

They can strip dozens of vehicles in one night.

"Your stomach drops because you realize you lost $3,000," said Paul Favorite, director of sales with Hennessey GMC and Buick, quoting the price of one set of rims.

"It makes you sick," Favorite said.

Favorite cringes each time he walks onto his lot and sees that crooks have stolen yet another set of rims.

"They hit here every chance they get," Favorite said.

Thieves have made off with up to $40,000 in rims from his dealership alone.

"We've had dozens of rims, 20-inch to 22-inch rims stolen in the last few weeks," Favorite said.

Crooks are hitting dealerships in Alabama and Georgia.

"It's very frustrating," said John Cullen, general manager with Terry Cullen Chevrolet.

Cullen wants to know why bandits would target his business.

When asked what makes the rims so appealing, Cullen answered, "I'm not sure. I guess that's a question for the people taking them."

Dealers said the thefts, at times, can trickle down to the customers.

"It can affect customers by slowing down the car they were looking to buy," Favorite said. "They come in yesterday, shopping for a car and they come in today and that same car is on cinder blocks because the wheels aren't here."

Favorite said his dealership has spent about $50,000 on surveillance cameras, hoping it will make the crooks think twice about coming back.

"There isn't a spot that's not viewed by cameras at this point," Favorite said.

Officers know who the suspects are and even have arrest warrants for them.

Investigators just have to find them.           

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