A Philly area car dealership was dealt a devastating blow after being open for less than a week. City Motors of Philadelphia lost seven of its eleven cars in inventory in just one robbery, potentially condemning the dealership before it could even get started.
According to ABC6, Thieves broke into the dealership Tuesday night, ransacked the front office, found the keys to seven cars, and escaped before the co-owner of the dealership, Nathan Kriegler, could respond. It was almost a clean getaway, but there was an attempt to hotwire an eighth car, a Kia Sorento, that failed. As of this writing, police have tracked down three of the stolen cars.
There are a couple of details that stand out. First, the robbers not only located the keys to the vehicles but also their titles. This is somewhat unusual, especially given that the car lot was open for less than one week at the time of the robbery. Kreigler claims that the newness of the business was the reason for the minimal security measures, with no security cameras capturing the robbery. Kreigler also says they had no insurance for the vehicles, and that City Motors only maintains liability coverage. “If we don’t recover the cars, we probably won’t survive it.”
The dealership's location at the intersection of Frankford Avenue and Knorr Street has seen five different owners since 2015, with City Motors being the most recent to assume the location. It’s in the Mayfair neighborhood of Philadelphia, which also suffered from a rush of looting on Tuesday night, the same night as the car robberies.
Of course, mass car robberies are nothing new, with the thefts getting bigger and more brazen by the year. Car thefts have been on the rise in general, buoyed by the rampant Kia and Hyundai “USB hack” thefts that makes stealing certain models a cakewalk. According to the Council on Criminal Justice, car thefts in metro areas like Philadelphia have spiked by 59% from 2019 to 2022.
Typically, thieves target franchise dealerships. But for Kreiger and his small lot, the blow hits a lot harder.
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