NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Beach Auto Brokers owners woke up to a smashed window and cars taken from their used car dealership in Norfolk.
Norfolk Police responded to the dealership for a commercial burglary alarm around 5:30 am Friday.
The dealership’s owner pledged a $1,000 reward for each car’s return.
“If you bring the car back, that’s it. No questions asked,” said Denise Jones, the owner’s wife.
Surveillance footage showed four men surveying the dealership lot for 5 to 6 minutes. They then broke the side window of the business.
“They snuck up on the sidewall and busted the window open and broke in,” she said.
The window led to the manager’s office. The men rummaged through papers and personal items before entering the showroom. They located the box of keys secured with a padlock.
“They literally completely took three of them to pry the box up from the padlocks and spilled keys out all over the place,” Jones said.
She said they picked up a few and took them outside.
“They came running outside with a bunch of keys and started clicking to see what they had,” Jones said.
Security camera footage shows them removing nine vehicles from the lot and took them just around the corner.
“You feel violated. You feel crushed. You feel heartbroken,” Jones said.
The thieves took a 2020 Chevrolet Traverse, a 2012 Lexus ES 350, a Volkswagen CC Sport and a 2018 BMW X3.
The other five cars were recovered, including a 2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk and a 2015 Ford Mustang Premium. Jones said they were found by police still on.
“They were actually still running and it appeared that they were in the process of trying to get them from their staging area,” she said.
Beach Auto Brokers has a security team that monitors the property and security cameras. The used car dealership also has blocked entrances and a padlocked key box.
“We do what we are supposed to do and they, for whatever reason, can come in and help themselves to what we worked hard for,” she said.
Now, Jones is left wondering how to protect her dealership.
“Do we have to hire someone to stand out here at 3 o’clock in the morning to make sure that someone doesn’t come and take what is not theirs?”
She said the dealership needs the communities help.
“We need the community to come together, and help everyone,” Jones said.
Jones said the dealership is prepared to cover repairs and bodywork costs because they don’t know what condition the stolen cars are in.
“We try to do everything we can. When it hits you as a local business, it hits your pocket,” Jones said.
She and her husband want to get their investment back.
“We have finances tied up in these vehicles, so now we are going to have to try to recover them somehow. We are going to have insurance that we are going to have to file and claim. It’s going to take a lot of time to recover those funds, so we can replenish our inventory so we can continue to operate,” she said.
Those with information are encouraged to submit a tip via P3 tips or call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.