Unusual theft at car dealership leaves business struggling - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Unusual theft at car dealership leaves business struggling

Police say this man took off with a briefcase full of car titles from American Motors Friday, September 15th. Photo: American Motors. Police say this man took off with a briefcase full of car titles from American Motors Friday, September 15th. Photo: American Motors.
MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

A local car dealership is struggling to stay open after a bizarre crime in broad daylight that was caught on camera. It happened at American Motors on Government Boulevard Friday morning. 

Three bandits carried out a plan to take a briefcase full of car titles.

The surveillance video shows what looks like a regular morning at American Motors, with three guys looking for a new ride, and the owner ready to make a sale. But within minutes, a heist unfolds.

Around 10:00, the brazen trio gets out of a white Buick Lesabre. Two of them pretend to look at a car while another distracts the owner. He's drawn away to the corner of the lot, so the other two can carry out the plan. 

Long time employee Bruce Randol showed us around the dealership, and explained how the men distracted his boss.

"They opened this hood, and was asking him questions, and the guy was standing about where you are, about where he could see over there."

Randol says when the coast was clear, one bandit went after the goods. We're told two of the men are in their 60's and the other is around forty. 

What you don't see on the surveillance camera is what happens inside. Police say within seconds, one of the men comes in and takes the briefcase from underneath a desk, and walks out.

One guy was the lookout, and with his signal, the briefcase bandit picks up the pace, and the trio takes off, backing out of the camera's view so it can't catch the car's license plate. It's not long until the owner notices and runs to his car to try to chase them down.

Randol says the business has been targeted before, but this crime is the most damaging hit, and was clearly planned out.

"You can't sell it without a title...it can take as high as two to three months to get all these titles straightened out, and two to three months is going to be devastating."

Randol also tell us the owner carries the briefcase with him everywhere he goes for security reasons. 

Mobile Police tell us they are still assigning a detective to the case to find the group. Meanwhile, the business is offering a $500 reward for the return of the briefcase and titles. The owner says his fear, is that the same guys will come back to steal the cars connected to those titles.

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