Stolen Car

Cliff Williams / The Outlook A new Ford Escape sits on the lot at Tallapoosa Ford Wednesday. The dealership had two new vehicles stolen Monday morning.

With automobiles in short supply, one Alexander City car dealership finds itself short a 2021 Ford Mustang GT and a 2021 Ford Expedition after a Monday morning theft — and would-be thieves may have targeted other auto dealerships.

Like most weekday mornings Leslie Wingler arrived early Monday morning at Tallapoosa Ford.

“I noticed we had a new Expedition missing from the front line when I drove up,” Wingler said. “When I walked in, I noticed broken glass on the floor.”

Wingler said he quickly realized the dealership’s Expedition being offered for more than $70,000 was stolen. Wingler also noticed the Mustang GT was missing.

“That’s more than $100,000 in inventory,” Wingler said. “It’s gone.”

Wingler called the Alexander City Police Department and looked back through footage of surveillance cameras.

“They had just left when I got here,” Wingler said. “I get here early everyday to do paperwork before we open. I started going back through the footage.”

Wingler said there were at least two people in the lot and at least one person who entered the building retrieving keys to the vehicles.

“All told they were here less than 10 minutes before they drove off,” Wingler said. “They were gone by 4:30.”

Wingler said it is not uncommon across the U.S. for cars to be stolen from car dealerships and it has been a while since a vehicle had been stolen from Tallapoosa Ford.

“We had a F250 and wrecker stolen several years ago,” Wingler said. “We got the truck back but the wrecker is still out there somewhere.”

Alexander City Police chief Jay Turner said ACPD investigators are following leads in the case and the matter is still under investigation.

“It appears other dealerships may have been targeted too, but nothing was stolen,” Turner said.

Wingler said cars can be stolen from anywhere.

“The best way to avoid it is to lock your vehicle and make sure keys are secured,” Wingler said. “Most of the cars today need the key to work.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.

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