A MTA Member in the northern suburbs (who wishes to remain anonymous), has had a Holden VE SSV ute worth $20,000 stolen by a person who showed interest in the vehicle while on the car yard.
The Licensed Second-hand Vehicle Dealer (LVD) owner was inside his office on the phone when he noticed a male and a female couple walking down the side street close to the car yard’s fence line. About 10 minutes later, the woman (mid 20s, dyed burgundy hair and short, stocky build) walked into the yard on her own to look at the ute, which was located on the front row of the yard. The car yard gates were wide open with no bollards up.
The woman said she was interested in the car and wanted to hear it start up so the dealer got the keys. There was no indication from her of wanting a test drive at this point, the woman was just showing an interest in the car: inspecting the interior, books and previous owners.
The dealer started the engine and went to the front of the car to lift the bonnet and this is when an event happened that every vehicle dealer dreads.
The woman quickly jumped in the car, locked the doors and started revving the engine.
The dealer yelled at her, “What are you doing?”
The woman put the car into gear, screeched out of the yard and into peak hour traffic.
Two contractors working on a vehicle at the back of the car yard ran out to the side street and saw the man from before in a white van pulling away in a hurry, turning onto the main road and travelling in the direction of the stolen vehicle.
The dealer has not yet recovered the stolen vehicle.
Description of the two:
- Woman in her mid-20s, dyed burgundy hair, approximately 5ft and a stocky build
- Male, shaved head (only description the dealer can give).
The hard reality is that if someone wants to find a way to steal a vehicle, they will. We urge dealers to be vigilant about their security by following the below simple steps from our Industry Engagement Specialists:
- Be mindful of your vehicle yard perimeter’s weak spots by paying attention to open gates, removed bollards or any way a person could easily drive straight out of the yard
- Take quality copies of driver’s licences before someone asks for the keys, checking the details of each licence
- Keep keys locked away inside an office when not being used and never leave them in the car
- If you are going on the test drive, tell a co-worker where you are going
- You should always drive the car out of the yard first. If people want to change drivers during a test drive, take the keys out of the ignition and wait until everyone is seated before starting the car again
- When returning to a dealership, have the customer drive onto the yard, stopping the vehicle and get them to hand you the keys
If you have any information about this particular stolen vehicle or would like advice about your own car yard’s safety and security, click here to email Industry Engagement Specialist, Nathan Groves.