SHAKOPEE, Minn. (KMSP) - The keys to about 300 cars were stolen from a dealership overnight Saturday in Shakopee, Minnesota. The next morning, one of the vehicles was stolen.
At around 10:50 p.m. Saturday night, a man broke into Apple Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Shakopee and stole a key trak box containing the keys to the dealership’s brand new vehicles.
According to Chris Gulbrandson, the President of Apple Autos, a burglar broke into the rear garage door by crawling through a window to steal the box.
“Basically, they have all of our new car keys, or at least one set,” said Gulbrandson to Fox 9. “We have the second set.”
In addition to the key theft, someone walked onto the lot at 6 a.m. and stole a Dodge Durango, listed at $60,000, and drove it away. Employees of Apple Autos were on the lot at the time of the car theft.
Police confirmed that the stolen vehicle was recovered after a chase in Southern Minnesota Sunday. One person is in custody following the chase, but police are not sure if the suspect is the same man who stole the keys earlier in the day.
Gulbrandson called the theft “brazen,” especially since the key tack is “a couple hundred pounds.”
Luckily, the stolen vehicle is equipped with a service from Sirius/XM Radio called “Guardian” which allows them to track vehicles. When Gulbrandson tracked the car at 10 a.m., it had been driving for about four hours.
“Our play right now is we’re securing the lot, securing all the cars,” he said. “We’re going to have 24-hour security from here on out. We may have to re-key every car, which may mean erasing the current key and getting a new set of keys for each car.”
He says his dealership has had a few cars stolen throughout the years “here and there,” but that they were mostly used cars or older vehicles.
“We’ve never had someone come in and steal the keys to the new car,” Gulbrandson said.
“This was very brazen. They definitely knew what they were doing. They knew where the keys were. They knew how to get them out,” he added.
He also believes the thieves targeted that specific Dodge Durango SRT given its expensive price tag.
He added that other dealerships should be on the lookout, too.
“It might be the easiest way to steal 300 cars,” he said.