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Rash of radio thefts in MI

by David Zatz on

A rash of radio thefts has hit car dealers in Michigan, with FCA UConnect systems being stolen — causing as much damage to the cars, in some cases, as the cost of the new electronics.

“Wood TV,” Channel 8 out of Grand Rapids, reported that, after thieves did $100,000 in damage to Cole Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge in Marshall township, the dealership posted a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. The thieves broke into fifteen cars, breaking the glass to get in; they steal the 8.4 inch screen and the electronics that drive it.

Another dealership, Extreme Chrysler in Blackman Township, had a similar burglary with similar damage.  Szott M-59 Dodge, in Highland Township, had no fewer than 58 cars robbed and $250,000 in damage. Szott put up $4,000 for information leading to an arrest, and Crime Stoppers matched with $2,500 more.

The thieves appear to be a single group, which may be in touch with a rogue dealership employee (or have illicit access to dealership passwords), since a four-digit number is required to activate each stereo.  Their method has been to break the rear passenger window and jumped in. They sometimes sliced the wires to get the equipment out.

The group appears to have been working for months, attacking individual cars as well as dealerships. Anyone with information can call 1-800-SPEAK-UP (1-800-773-2587).  Thanks, RedRiderBob and Brooklyn R/T.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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