Over 30 new cars were vandalized at a Honda dealership in North Carolina in a scheme to remove car jacks in order to steal wheels and tires.
The culprits, who have not been identified, shattered passenger windows to obtain jacks from the vehicles on Monday night. Then, they took wheel lock keys from three Accord Sport models and one Pilot, placed the jacks underneath the vehicles, and removed all four wheels and tires, said Tony Underwood, chief of communications for the Union County Sheriff's Office.
"It appears the entire motivation was to gain the equipment to facilitate more larceny," Underwood said. "And they wanted to get the lug nuts so they could remove the tires."
Employees arrived at Metro Honda in Union County on Tuesday morning to find four vehicles hoisted on car jacks among the vandalized cars, said Underwood.
The 2017 Accord Sport, which won't sound an alarm when windows are smashed, comes standard with flashy 19-inch wheels -- a big-money component that can be stripped right on the spot.
That same night, vandals broke into three other vehicles at a used-car dealership across the street, removing radios, wheels and tires. Underwood suspected those events are connected.
The overall damage -- including labor, time, inventory and transportation costs -- has not been released.
The dealership does not have surveillance cameras, but the used-lot across the street caught footage of its own three-car damage. That video is inconclusive so far, Underwood said.
"We're just comparing notes with other agencies who may have some information on other thefts in the area to see if they're in any way connected," he said.
Several attempts to reach officials at the Honda dealership were unsuccessful.