Thieves target Cleveland-owned car dealership twice in 1 week

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 6:40 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland Police are investigating two car thefts in one week at Auto Expo USA on West 117th Street.

The first incident was on June 2, and the thieves were caught on camera.

“They approached the Kia Sorento, got in there, because of the recalls on them, very easy to steal. They got in the vehicle and took off,” said Hoffa Assad.

Assad said the crooks came back on June 5, stealing a Hyundai Sonata.

“Tried to go over the slope, but the slope is on the higher side now so they get stuck. They get out of the car. They push the car and the car goes over the hill and runs into that other building,” said Assad.

The car hit a building that is currently being prepped for a daycare.

“There were some people working in the daycare at night trying to get it fixed and ready to open up the daycare,” said Assad. “They heard a loud boom, so they came outside and saw all the stuff going on.”

Assad tells 19 News he filed police reports and handed over copies of the video.

Auto Expo USA is a family-owned business. It’s been in the same location for 25 years.

“I’ve never had this happen, so this is new to me. It’s unfortunate and it’s so sad,” said Assad. “This has to be stopped, this is very bad for the community, for the city. These kids are jumping in these cars and they’re using these cars for crimes.”

Assad said his insurance will increase.

“That’s going to be tough for us, especially the way the economy is and the way things are now, everything is tough and for you to report these incidents to your insurance, obviously your insurance will sky-rocket,” said Assad.

He is worried the crooks will come back for a third time.

“I am worried and we are taking the proper measures,” said Assad.

The dealership plans to put out concrete barriers to deter thieves.