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Raleigh Police Search for Dangerous Car Thief

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RALEIGH — Raleigh police are searching for a suspect who steals expensive cars from dealerships and then leads police on wild car chases.

Police say the latest incident happened Tuesday when Clinton Gregory Woods, 22, allegedly stole a Ford Expedition from a Cary dealership and eluded capture with fast and dangerous driving.

Woods is wanted on charges of stealing at least six luxury cars from dealerships across the Triangle.

"He actually came in here with his grandparents, and bought a car," says Mark Turley, who still remembers the day Woods walked in his Mercedes dealership in 1996 and bought a car from him.

Police say Woods is the man who snatched the keys to a $40,000 Mercedes sport-utility vehicle and drove off the same lot a few weeks ago.

"It's interesting to have a personal relationship with a particular customer, and for him to come back and not buy a car, but steal one," Turley said.

Police have started to chase Woods several times, but they have been forced to call it off quickly and look for a safer way to search for him.

"We consider him a danger and a threat," says Capt. Mike Longmire of the Raleigh Police Department.

Longmire says Woods speeds, sometimes hits other cars and continues on the run even after police stop the pursuit.

"He's been known to drive in the wrong direction on New Bern Avenue forcing oncoming traffic off the road," Longmire said. "This guy is out of control."

Woods has an extensive police record, including various assault and weapons charges. Anyone with information should contact the Raleigh Police Department.

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Todd Hauer, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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