SLIDELL, LA – Slidell Police are investigating the theft of more than $100,000 worth of tires and rims from a local car dealership.
Because of the swift and unnoticed theft, officials believe those responsible are part of a professional theft ring.
Slidell Police were called to the Matt Bowers Chevrolet dealership on the morning of Saturday, April 27.
When the manager arrived at the dealership that morning, he discovered the tires and wheels missing off of 31 vehicles.
The vehicles ranged from Chevy Tahoe’s, Malibu’s, trucks, and smaller SUV’s.
In all, 124 tires and wheels were stolen, totaling approximately $120,000.
Matt Bowers, the owner of the dealership, is offering a $25,000 reward to the person who provides information leading up to the arrest of the suspects.
If the suspects are caught, half of the money will be paid upon arrest, and the other half upon conviction.
According to Slidell Police Chief Chief Randy Fandal, “At this point of the investigation, it appears these thieves were no amateurs. They defeated locks, alarms, surveillance video, and went as far as to manipulate the exterior lights in the parking lot so they could work in the dark of the night, completely undetected.”
Some surveillance video was recovered, allowing the officers to know the following information:
- Shortly before 3 A.M. two male subjects are seen walking across the dealership parking lot in order to cut the locks to a side-entrance
- One subject was wearing a red shirt with black pants, and the other was wearing all black clothing with white shoes
- A short while later, a U-Haul truck pulls up and enters the rear parking lot of the dealership
- The U-Haul used by the individuals appeared to be an EL-17 foot truck
- Approximately 40 minutes later, the U-Haul truck leaves and exits on to the service road towards Old Spanish Trail
- Police believe the suspects were working on removing the tires from the vehicles several hours before the U-Haul truck appears on the video
- The only thing the thieves left behind were some wooden blocks used to prop up the vehicles, and a car jack
Officers have discovered two very similar thefts in Texas and Oklahoma.
Because of this, police believe the thieves are not from this area, although they cannot rule out that the suspects are local.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Slidell Police Department at (985) 646-4347.
You can remain anonymous.