Tennessee, Alabama car dealerships hit in suspected multi-state auto theft ring – WZTV

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Surveillance video shows thieves breaking into a car dealership in Middle Tennessee and driving the showroom vehicles right off the lot.

Investigators think a rash of crimes in Tennessee and Alabama are connected and are now working together to track down leads hoping to bust a car dealership crime ring.

In Mobile, Alabama, security footage shows three suspects dressed in dark clothing, gloves and face coverings emerge from the bushes and head right for the dealership garage, making off with several stolen cars.

“I would suspect they’ll probably equip them with counterfeit plates and sell them, that would be my guess. We were able to ping one of the vehicles north on 65 so we are fairly certain they left the state pretty quickly.”

Investigators say one of the vehicles got a flat tire, and the suspects ditched it in Birmingham.

Seventeen miles from the Alabama line, in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, police are convinced the same group of guys hit up a dealership using a carefully calculated strategy.

“Here, they come in roughly 1 a.m. busted out windows and left the property and came back later and went into the dealership and found the lockbox and pried them open and was gone with our vehicles at 3 o’clock in the morning,” said Jeff Renfro with the Lawrenceburg Police Department. “So, they’re doing anywhere roughly from midnight to dawn, anywhere from 12 to 5 a.m. most everybody’s been being hit.”

Surveillance video captured the suspects breaking into the office and stealing dealer license plates.

After stealing a 2024 Z06 Corvette worth $150,000, a 2024 GMC Sierra Denali and a 2022 Yukon AT4, the crooks made off with over $300,000 in stolen vehicles.

The trio was caught on nearby gas station surveillance video fueling up. The gas station catching their faces inside the store.

“Really just follow leads, that’s my big thing; anybody that calls in with a lead I follow up,” said Renfro. “I’ve had a few people call me from the Nashville area saying they’ve seen the corvette up in that area.”

Lawrenceburg police say they’re actively following up on those Nashville sightings. They add OnStar managed to ping one of the vehicles for awhile, but believe the suspects eventually disabled the tracking system.

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