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Raleigh Used-Car Lot Emptied in Mass Auto Theft

All but one of 23 vehicles have been recovered in what police are calling an unusual case.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — 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.