WENTZVILLE, Mo. — Wentzville police are investigating an unusual car burglary at a popular dealership.
Some victims believe the same group of suspects has been targeting dozens of other dealerships in the bi-state area. Joe Pettus and his wife own Pettus Automotive car dealership in DeSoto, Missouri, including five other dealerships across southeastern Missouri.
Recently, one morning, they discovered six cars had been stolen from their lot.
“It creates a lot of chaos and stress, and you ultimately feel violated,” said Pettus.
The security footage shows six hooded thieves breaking into the dealership and stealing keys. All the suspects are shown wearing hoodies and masks over their faces.
“They look like juveniles, which is alarming to me that you have that many young kids doing it,” said Pettus.
The couple’s GMC dealership in Farmington was also broken into and damaged just a week after the incident. Pettus said the crimes have cost them time and money.
“The damage, the insurance claims that still cost a lot of money. A lot of money, a lot of time, a lot of grief, a lot of stress,” he said.
Other dealerships have reported similar crimes to Pettus and FOX 2. Wentzville police said Century Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM Wentzville was broken into Thursday morning. The thieves used a brick to break the glass of the dealership for entry.
Police said they have six to seven suspects who were caught on video stealing five cars.
“It’s certainly something that’s going around. I was told by law enforcement that there have been 16 dealers from Illinois to Sullivan that have all had break-ins,” said Pettus.
Wentzville police cannot confirm it is the same group of suspects but do say the crimes appear to be strikingly similar.
“It still lights a fire underneath you a bit. We are certainly not going to tolerate it,” said Pettus.
The Pettus’ was able to get back their six cars, but the five vehicles in Wentzville are still missing. The Pettus’ is also offering a $5,000 reward for information that could lead to an arrest.
You can call Wentzville Police at (636) 327-5105 to share any tips.