FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – If you’ve ever watched a car race, you’ve likely been amazed at how pit crews can change tires in just seconds. Now, there’s a criminal crew in Broward County that’s doing the very same thing and targeting some very pricey items.
During a one week period in late January, at least 7 cars were hit in Broward. Investigators are checking to see if they’re related.
In one case, surveillance video shows them at work on a pricey Maserati. It begins with a couple of guys taking pictures at a dealership on North Federal in Fort Lauderdale.
“(They) probably send them off to someone saying, ‘hey, you want to buy these?’” said Fort Lauderdale Police Spokesman Travis Mandell.
In the January 27 case, the crooks were initially spooked by people walking nearby, so they took off. But 20 minutes later, they were back.
Surveillance video shows as the passenger gets out, creeps around the Maserati, and jacks the car up. Just as he’s getting the tire off, the alarm goes off, spooking them again. Now, they move quickly.
“You see him rolling the tire back to the vehicle, place it into the rear passenger seat and take off,” said Det. Mandell.
But they’re not done yet; they came back. The car was jacked up again and the remaining three tires and rims were snatched.
“They were able to remove all 4 tires from this vehicle span of 5 minutes,” said Mandell. “They’ve obviously done this before and know what they’re doing.”
That expensive car was left sitting on blocks in the parking lot! Police hope someone will recognize their car even though they tried to dress it up.
It’s a 2009-2011 gold Chevy Impala with custom rims, a spoiler, and sunroof.
There’s a big pay off in all this, those 4 tires and rims from the Maserati sell for about $8,000-thousand dollars.
“$8,000 in a five minute stint,” Mandell said, “that’s kind of “gone in 60 seconds” type material.
If you have information that can help investigators call Broward Crimestoppers at 954-493-TIPS.