SILSBEE, Texas — Police are investigating a string of thefts that involve vehicles stolen from dealerships in Silsbee and Jasper.
Silsbee Police Chief Shawn Blackwell tells 12News it's not an uncommon crime, but is unusual to occur in his city.
"We've seen it before, but it doesn't happen often in Silsbee," Chief Blackwell said. "Between April 28 and May 7, we've had three of our local dealerships have cars taken from them," Blackwell said.
He says a total of five vehicles have gone missing, but three have already been recovered in Harris County.
"They're finding them in pretty good condition, they haven't been stripped," Blackwell said. "Maybe some manipulation to some electronics, but other than that they look pretty good."
The list of vehicles stolen include:
2019 Chevy Tahoe, 2018 Cadillac Escalade & 2018 F-150 (Moore)
- All three were recovered on May 8 and around May 19.
2018 black Toyota Tundra, 1974 edition, (Silsbee Toyota)
-Taken during business hours, near closing time.
2016 white Dodge Ram 2500, Laremie Edition, (Silsbee Ford)
12News spoke with the general manager at Moore Chevrolet, Buick & GMC who describes what he believes is taking place.
He tells 12News these people are swapping out keys, while looking at the inside of the vehicle with an employee, and then returning back to the dealership at a later time to steal them.
Chief Blackwell says he believes the five thefts in Silsbee are linked together, but police are still trying to figure out motive.
"I don't know why they'd be taking them, but we feel they may be connected, at least the ones in Silsbee, because the method of operation they're using to get the vehicles is consistent," Blackwell said.
He adds similar thefts have also been seen in Jasper as well, but it's unclear if those are connected.
"We're going to continue till we find all of them," Blackwell said.
At Moore, the general manager told us it's difficult to truly stop this type of crime at dealerships, but employees there are now making sure the vehicles can lock before leaving them.
If anyone has any information on these thefts, please contact law enforcement.
SUBMIT A TIP ONLINE: Crime Stoppers
Police are asking anyone with information to contact police or to call Crime Stoppers at 833-TIPS.
- All tips provided to Crime Stoppers are anonymous. All calls are kept anonymous. No identification is required.
- Anyone who calls 833-TIPS to give a tip about a crime will be provided a secure code number
- The caller will not be asked for their name or contact number
- The caller must call back to make periodic checks to see if their information led to an arrest
- If the information provide results in an arrest, the caller will be awarded a sum of money not to exceed $1,000. The caller will be directed to a local drive-thru bank to retrieve their money.
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