Thieves Net $1.2M in Cars, 330 Keys from AL Dealership


According to a news report from, North Country Ford in Arab, Alabama, about 66 miles north-northwest of Birmingham, was the target of an ambitious burglary that netted the robbers eight vehicles with a combined value of $1.2 million. The theft occurred just after midnight in the early hours of Sunday, April 7, and was discovered on April 8.

The crime was simultaneously crude and sophisticated. The thieves managed to cut power to the security system of the dealership before breaking into the showroom by throwing a rock through a window, a technique we assume they learned by watching the 2000 remake of Gone in 60 Seconds. Once inside, the perpetrators used a laptop to open the lock on the safe that contained more than 330 keys. Grabbing the lot, the thieves selected eight vehicles and, with all of the keys in proximity, started up each car and drove off.


One of the vehicles stolen was a Dodge Challenger Demon 170 with a $158,000 price tag. The 1025-hp, limited-production muscle car is the most potent Challenger ever offered from the factory, so it should be rather easy to spot. The good news is that two vehicles have been recovered, a Jeep Wagoneer, which was recovered about 20 miles away in Blountsville and a Ranger Raptor, located in an apartment complex in Bessemer, on the southwest end of Birmingham.

North Country Ford has issued a $10,000 reward for the return of the missing keys. We reached out to North Country Ford for an update, but the dealership has been busy with the ordeal. Anyone with information on the crime or the missing merchandise is encouraged to contact the Arab police at (256) 586-8124.

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    So – if the thieves can link the stock number on the key-tags with cars sold and their buyers, they then have the potential to steal 330 more cars. Seems the reward for the keys might be worth increasing.

    Cars sold to customers won’t be in the key machine on the dealership’s floor. Plus the cars will be where the keys are. They was either New cars,used cars or both.

    the consequences for the gimmick of these fob/keyless start features sure look a lot more dire all the time. My customers have a hard time getting insurance on Kias/Hyundais with the feature and I’m sure that’s going to be a bigger problem in the near future. I don’t know why using good old fashioned keys wasn’t good enough

    If they had stolen 330 sets of keys and fobs (the kind that have been around for the last 40 years, hardly what you would call a gimmick) wouldn’t the thieves still be able to steal those 330 cars just as easily?

    I hope everything is recovered and the thieves prosecuted fully. This kind of thievery seems far too easy to do.

    That $1.2M figure for 8 cars seems a bit insurance-inflated, no? That works out to $150k per car. Given only one premium car was mentioned at $158K, the others two mentioned were a Wagoneer and Ranger Raptor, the remaining five would have to have been more than $150K each.

    I just read a story about a 20 piece mcnuggets meal that was $25 (no drink included).

    I’m waiting for thieves to break into fast food places next if this inflation keeps rising.

    Looks like the “weak link” in the system was the security of the lock on the safe. Granted, there are some really competent “whiz kids” in our society, intent on mischief, but someone smarter should have engineered/set up the lock to an extremely high security setting so this would not happen. Looks like it was just a relatively easy code to break to access the safe, probably to provide easier access to the company salesforce that would need access to the keys. To say that security was lax would be an understatement. First thing any TV crime show dealing with security is to cut the wires to the monitoring company or the police. Should have had a hotshot security professional design and install. Lot cheaper than what was stolen this time.

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