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Suspects drive high-end vehicles through dealer's showroom glass; owner addresses key fob issue

Posted at 12:49 PM, Oct 04, 2021

(WXYZ) — High-speed pursuits have become far too common for metro Detroit police agencies. The speed alone is dangerous with big block engines powering the getaway.

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"Certainly, it’s frustrating but we’ve got to come up with solutions, right," said Thad Szott of Szott Auto Group.

At Szott M-59 Dodge in Highland Township last week, thieves broke into the front door, duplicated key fobs and drove two performance vehicles right off the showroom floor through a glass wall. A total of four vehicles were stolen. They had just been delivered to the dealer and two were promised to customers.

Related: Police arrest 3 men, teen in theft of high-end vehicles

Szott has their own system to disable these vehicles, but hadn’t done it yet.

"We need to make sure as soon as these things hit the ground moving forward that we disable them on the same day," said Szott.

Dealers have been targeted before in places like Fenton and earlier this year in Saline.

This time, a war room was set up in the owner’s office and got all four vehicles on the same day.

"Shout out to them, Oakland County, Waterford, you guys did a fantastic job. Working in collaboration with Chrysler as well who helped us track these vehicles live time," said Szott.

Earlier this year, Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, a dodge charger owner himself contacted Chrysler because of so many thefts in the city.

“Your story prompted a conversation I had with Tim Kuniskis high-ranking member of Dodge. He agreed this has to be an easy fix,” Craig told 7 Action News at the time.

In August, Stellantis announced a security fix for 2021 models this year, 2022 next year at dealers. But it is not a recall.

Dodge is announcing a series of three new security solutions to help protect Dodge Challenger and Charger owners against criminal theft:

The company told us they will fix back to 2015, but there’s no timetable when.

Owners we’ve talked with are not happy, including Sajad Alemara who had his first Dodge Charger stolen and got a second with the insurance money.

"I’m surprised Dodge didn’t contact me and tell me to bring in my car so they can do the fix for me," he said.

Szott has its own fix, they won’t say how for security reasons.

"We have some ideas and put a process into your car to make sure when you run into the grocery store, it's back in the parking lot when you came back outside," Szott said.

He’s serious. Last November, some Dodge models were stolen out of the employee parking lot at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant while the owners were at work inside.

"I’m all for it. If they can fix my car, I’ll take it to them," said Alemara.