Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Teens Don't Get Far With Stolen Sports Cars

Key left in car door
How well does your dealership protect its keys after hours, especially keys for rare or high-end models? Do you go out of your way to make sure your keys aren't easily accessible regardless of the other levels of security a thief has to go through to reach them? A Missouri dealership recently found out the hard way what happens when keys aren't kept secure.

A group of five teens broke into the dealership to steal keys to four new sports cars — a pair of 2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcats and two 2016 Dodge Chargers in powerful Scat Pack trim. While attempting to escape in the vehicles, the teens crashed the two 700-horsepower Challengers and one of the Chargers within a mile of the dealership. Three of the teens were apprehended by police while trying to escape on foot. The second Charger is still missing.

Though three of the cars were recovered — albeit very damaged — the dealership's general manager told a local TV station that it could take several months for Chrysler to replace the four specialty cars. Those cars represent potential sales that the dealership won't be able to make until it has replacements, while employees must also commit time and effort to the police investigation and theft reports.

The dealership was lucky that the powerful sports cars were not involved in fatal collisions with innocent bystanders. A California dealership recently settled a lawsuit for almost $1 million after a vehicle stolen from its lot was involved in a fatal accident.

As thieves get bolder and the stakes become higher, take the time to re-evaluate your existing security measures to ensure they're enough to keep crafty thieves from stealing and damaging your dealership's assets. Padlocked gates can be cut, offices can be breached, and keys can be accessed when they're not secured in a tamper-proof cabinet. What are you doing to limit your liability and keep your cars secure?