Thieves steal cars, keys from 19 Memphis car lots

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some Memphis car lots are getting extra help moving inventory, but it’s not the kind of help they want.

Memphis police said the same band of thieves has been stealing cars and keys from 19 car lots in a two-month period beginning in May.

Dennis Small’s Platinum Collection lot on South Third was visited by the thieves last month.

After getting in under a section of loose fencing, Small said they used one of his cars to ram down his gate, and they took a total of seven cars.

“They took BMWs, they took Mercedeses, they took two Cadillacs,” Small said.

Last week, police said the thieves even got into the Carvana self-serve kiosk off I-40 and Appling Farms. It appears they got in by breaking down a door.

Days earlier, surveillance footage shows them driving off in a stolen Chevy at Quality Used Autos on Elvis Presley, where the owner said they took two cars before abandoning one.

At Max Auto Sales on Winchester, the thieves drove a car through the fence and broke a window, but the owner said they didn’t make off with any vehicles.

Small, meanwhile, is still missing five of the seven cars that were stolen from him.

Police were able to recover one of the cars after the thieves crashed it into a tractor-trailer. Small said that car belonged to a customer who had left it at his shop for repairs.

“We’re hard-working people out here trying to make a living, and these thieves just come by and taking cars, and I think they just joy riding because they found some of the cars on the side of the road,” Small said.

Police haven’t made any arrests and haven’t said how many suspects they’re looking for.

WREG asked them how many cars were stolen in total and how many they’ve been able to recover. Authorities responded Thursday saying they have been able to recover 101 vehicles and they have made at least 18 arrests.

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