PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Police Department is investigating break-ins at car dealerships across Peoria.
BMW of Peoria was hit on back to back days this week.
Sam Leman Automotive Group manager Jon Fehr says it doesn’t take long for a group to break inside and drive off with cars.
Early Tuesday morning, Fehr says a group smashed open a garage window to get inside.
“It seems to be that a group of young individuals. The police have said they’re as young as 12 years old,” said Fehr.
He says, it takes a matter of minutes for lock boxes to be ripped open and keys stolen.
“Those are locked up, you know if they have the right tools they just pry it open and they grab keys,” said Fehr.
It didn’t end there. The group came back late Wednesday night, breaking in through the same broken garage window that was boarded up.
“Because they steal keys, there’s some cases where they’ve returned again very quickly to try to get more vehicles,” said Fehr.
The incidents are currently under investigation. Fehr says this isn’t first time it’s happened at a Sam Leman dealership.
“We’ve had as many as seven stolen in one location and then as few as one,” said Fehr.
A Peoria Police spokesperson confirms break-ins are happening at dealerships across Peoria.
“The police have been exceptional in Peoria, very quick response. We recovered all the vehicles at this point,” said Fehr.
Fehr says the thieves are often kids who can’t drive, and he’s concerned for other drivers.
“The worry we have is a young person with no skills that they get chased or pulled over, what happens with them in regards to crashes,” said Fehr.
Peoria Police say all cars have been recovered. Fehr says when the cars are found, they’re usually damaged, which can be expensive to fix.
In July, police arrested seven juveniles for a break-in at Scherer Mazda in Peoria. In August, four were arrested with charges for motor vehicle theft, motor vehicle theft conspiracy, obstructing police, business burglary, and possession of stolen property over $5,000.
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