MARTINEZ, Calif. (KRON) — Thieves broke into a used car dealership in Martinez and got away with two vehicles. The loss exceeded $140,000.

Fortunately, the cars were tracked down, but the suspects have the keys to up to two dozen cars still on the lot. Platinum Motors relocated to Martinez a year and a half ago. Twice now, since July, thieves have stolen cars off the used car lot.

Sales manager K.C. Carpenter takes it personally.

“We support autism organizations. I’m a marine. We do toys for tots, and we try to help with as much as we can,” Carpenter said.

Still, sometimes the bad overshadows the good. Surveillance video captured at least two suspects walking up to and breaking through the front entrance off Alhambra Avenue.

The suspects rummaged through the offices in the showroom and eventually stole up to two dozen car keys. They left with two cars worth more than $140,000 combined.

“We’ve all got families — we all work hard. We treat customers well. And, for that to happen, it hurts,” Carpenter said.

Fortunately, the stolen cars were found without damage later in the day — ditched in oakland.
Still, the keys are missing, and Carpenter expects the thieves will return.

“We do our best to secure everything, and we treat customers with respect. We have no ill-will with anybody, so there’s no reason for somebody to hit us like that,” Carpenter said. “It’s just simply a certain segment of the population that deals in fraud and theft and tries to make a living by shortcutting and doing it that way.”

Carpenter says the dealership is more secured now — in anticipation of another attempted theft.
He says the cars swiped back in July were captured on video at a sideshow in Compton, which was posted online with the dealership’s stickers still on them.

“Our goal is to offer a customer the best in class. So, we’re not interested in being the cheapest or selling cars that are abused. So, yeah, it does hurt when somebody takes a choice prime piece of merchandise off our lot in a violent way like that,” he said.

Making matters worse, none of the suspects in either theft have been caught.