Police are investigating after about 10 cars were stolen from a car dealership in southwest Atlanta.
A splintered frame where surveillance video shows car burglars kicking in a door to the dealership office. pic.twitter.com/n1j9kADA3Y— Rikki Klaus (@RikkiKlausWSB) February 5, 2018
Eric Mills, the owner of Team Auto Sales on Campbellton Road, said men with guns shattered a dealership window, drove off in 10 cars and crashed a couple of the stolen vehicles.
We’re looking at surveillance video of armed men smashing dealership window, stealing keys, breaking down door. Owner Eric Mills says they stole 10 cars. We’ll put this together for Ch. 2 at noon. pic.twitter.com/fuFzUiwTsd— Rikki Klaus (@RikkiKlausWSB) February 5, 2018
He first learned of the break-in about 3 a.m. Monday when his security alarm company notified him that motion was detected at the business.
Mills said he didn’t think anything of it initially. He reset the alarm, but it went off a second time.
That’s when Mills sent someone to check on the business. That person found the window shattered, he said.
“I immediately came down,” Mills said.
Police were already on the scene. Officers told him they had responded to a crash involving one of the stolen vehicles.
“The assailant, I guess, got out and ran,” Mills said.
During the search for that person, police discovered that the stolen car came from Mills’ dealership.
Multiple vehicles were taken, including a 2005 Hyundai Elantra and a 2015 Chevrolet Malibu, Mills said.
Keys were dropped on the ground and the dealership’s office was ransacked.
Surveillance footage shows two armed men break into the dealership overnight.
“They grabbed all the keys they could, and they just started taking cars,” Mills said.
They cleared out about half the cars on the lot — about $70,000 in inventory — in the middle of the busy tax season just as the business was increasing its inventory, Mills said.
He said the incident was a painful wake-up call.
“It makes you want to give up. It makes you want to walk away and say, ‘Hey, it’s not for me,’” Mills said. “But then again, it makes you want to fight to stay there.”
— Please return to AJC.com for updates.
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