Crime

Three vehicles stolen from Santa Maria dealership, two recovered

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - UPDATE: Two of the three vehicles were recovered around 2:30 pm in a neighborhood near Olive Drive and Sequoia Drive in Santa Maria. The suspects are still on the loose.

Santa Maria police say around 6 am Thursday, the suspects were able to break into a building at the Santa Maria Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram on S Broadway, find the keys to three vehicles, crash them through a barrier and take off. 

Police believe there is damage to the cars because they rammed through the barriers to leave the dealership. Details on what types of cars were stolen are not being released because the burglary is still under investigation. 

Police say there's been a recent spike in stolen vehicles.

"It's often the case that a small group of individuals are committing most of the thefts," Santa Maria Police Sgt. Russell Mengel said.

There's been 10 vehicles stolen in Santa Maria since the 22nd that have not yet been recovered. Santa Maria Police Sgt. Russell Mengel says there's ways you can prevent this from happening to you.

"We want to encourage people to look at at technology that's available to track your automobile, to know where it's at, to know essentially what it's doing so you can use smart technology and pull that up on  your phone," Sgt. Mengel said.

Police had a message for people thinking about stealing more vehicles in town.

"At some point it's going to catch up to you, you might get away with it for a few days, a couple weeks but at some point we're going to figure out who's doing it," Mengel said. 

Police says there's a number of reasons why crooks steal cars.

"They may be involved in other criminal activity and they're using the stolen car to carry out other criminal activity whether it be burglary, robberies," Mengel said.

Sometimes these thieves strip the vehicles.

"To use parts or pieces, other times it might be as simple as to get from point A to point B," Mengel said.

Mengel says they'd like to recover the third vehicle.

"We'd love to take someone to jail for it," Mengel said.


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