Thieves strike another local car dealership, steal nearly $500K in cars

HICKORY, N.C. — Thieves have struck again at a local car dealership, stealing six cars valued at nearly a half-million dollars.

The break-in and auto thefts happened after thieves targeted dealerships in Mooresville, Charlotte, and Asheville over the last month.

Channel 9′s Dave Faherty learned one of the cars, which is valued at nearly $100,000, has been recovered after it crashed in a high-speed chase in Newton.

Police said they started the pursuit early Monday morning after spotting three cars speeding. At the time, they say they had no idea about the break-in at Mountain Mitsubishi in Hickory.

The owner of the dealership shared pictures with Faherty of the shattered glass left behind. The photos even show the rock the thieves used to smash their way inside.

Faherty learned some of the vehicles taken were Dodge Challenger Hellcats, a Corvette, a Camaro, and a Cadillac.

Three of the vehicles were stolen right off the showroom floor. Police said nearby cameras captured the moment the thieves drove off.

Hickory police are working with other agencies to see if the case there is linked to a larger ring.

Faherty spoke with the owner of the dealership who said plans are already in the works to tighten security there.

“There’s a feeling of being violated. There’s a feeling of people coming in and taking food out of your kids’ mouths, your salespeople’s kids’ mouths, and that’s not a good feeling,” Brian Vonderheide said. “The only thing that makes sense to me is that they’re stealing the cars, shipping them overseas, carting them out. I mean, if it’s a joyride thing, that makes it even worse.”

Faherty learned the driver arrested in Newton was hospitalized after the crash but walked out before investigators from Hickory arrived. Police are still looking for that driver.

>> Learn more about their investigation on Channel 9 starting at 5 p.m.

(WATCH BELOW: Police: Man accused of stealing car from dealership, hurting woman in hit-and-run crash)

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