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Raleigh Used-Car Lot Emptied in Mass Auto Theft

Posted April 14, 2008

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— All but one of 23 vehicles stolen over the weekend from a used-car sales lot in Raleigh have been recovered, authorities said Monday afternoon.

Investigators believe the nearly two dozen German- and Japanese-made vehicles were taken in the middle of the night from AME Auto Sales at 1200 Capital Blvd., north of downtown.

Twenty-one of the vehicles were recovered in Durham at what police said was "a car-related facility" – and they would not elaborate on what that meant. Another, with a flat tire, was recovered Monday on Navajo Drive near the dealership, police said.

Investigators had not made any arrests or named any suspects, however, in what police call an unusual case.

"When you get the call that 23 vehicles have been stolen off a lot, certainly, that's an unusual call," Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said. "But the explanation for it might not be so unusual."

Barrett Ray, who works at a neighboring business, said the vehicles were in the car lot late Saturday night when a colleague reported for work. By 8 a.m., they were gone.

"I was supposed to be detailing some cars for my man next door," Ray said. "When I went over there, they were practically gone."

Ray tried several times getting in touch with the car lot's owner, who then called police Sunday evening.

The lot has surveillance cameras, although police would not say if information from them has helped investigators.

"Based on what's been learned about the case, I think it will probably fall into place and make some sense once they're able to fully solve it," Sughrue said.


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  • sogood135 Apr 15, 2008

    With 1st hand knowledge I can say the 'Badger' got what was coming to him. SHOCK-N-AWE Baby!

  • Ksw1 Apr 15, 2008

    These sorts of things tend to happen when BUSINESS PARTNERS have disagreements.....

  • bomanicous Apr 14, 2008

    would it be called auto theft if they were being repo-ed?

  • Myword Apr 14, 2008

    Could be worse. Could have found them all in the parole office parking lot.

  • sillyone. Apr 14, 2008

    probably had tracking devices if not the owner is an idiot

  • IfByWhiskey-a-go-go Apr 14, 2008

    C'mon, folks, this is no repo, lending institutions aren't going to hire repo men for a car dealer. Inside job where you have access to all those keys. Segrue is acting dumb for the media, that's all.

  • whatusay Apr 14, 2008

    Who pays the rent at the "car related facility"?

  • itsnotmeiswear Apr 14, 2008

    Panther, I'm thinking your guess of the REPO man is right on target.

  • whatelseisnew Apr 14, 2008

    Ah Car-related facility ummmm Chop SHOP

  • itsnotmeiswear Apr 14, 2008

    I stopped by a new car dealership at about 10pm around 5 years ago to look at a truck. When I got out and looked around, I noticed that almost every vehicle on the lot had the keys in the door and the rest of them were in a box on the hood of a car near the entrance. I had my kids grab all the keys and put them in the box. I then took the keys to the dealer's home. He just shook his head and thanked me.