East Texas dealership burglary linked to statewide auto theft ri - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas dealership burglary linked to statewide auto theft ring

Wagner Cadillac employees repairing after burglary (Source: KLTV staff) Wagner Cadillac employees repairing after burglary (Source: KLTV staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

An East Texas auto burglary is now being investigated as part of a statewide ring. Cars at Wagner Cadillac on South Broadway Ave. in Tyler were left on blocks Sunday morning after police say thieves stole 80 wheels and tires off of cars on the lot.

Repairs are already under way as staff work to replace the tires on 20 different cars.

“When I saw the number and the cars that wheels they took and how it was arranged and done, it’s almost like they were well-organized and planned and knew what they were doing,” said Carl Shine, the general manager at Wagner Cadillac.

Investigators said they certainly did. Just 10 days ago, a Chevy dealership in Richardson was hit and more than one hundred trucks were stripped of their wheels and tires. Sound familiar? Law enforcement thinks so, too, saying there is absolutely a connection.

“Group of guys working the jacks and working the blocks and rolling tires,” Shine explained. “Roll them up to the truck, roll them into the back, and they’re gone.”

In February, another Chevrolet dealership in Texas City had wheels and tires stolen from 22 cars.

In Tyler, Richardson, and Texas City, cars were up on blocks, lug nuts were left on the pavement, and the lights were cut. In all locations thieves avoided surveillance cameras or hit lots that didn’t have them. Experts said they were in and out quickly and used power tools. The thieves even had the keys to the wheel locks.

“All of the employees that I talked to today felt violated,” Shine said. “Felt like they were stolen from because we are Wagner Cadillac.”

And just like the other dealerships, on Monday they were back in business and ready get moving again.

Officials say a large trailer or truck must have been used to store the many wheels and tires. They also told KLTV 7 there is no telling where those stolen wheels and tires will end up, but if you have any information you are asked to call Tyler police.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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