Task Force: Thieves stealing cars from rental lots, auto dealerships

MARYSVILLE -- Thieves ripped open a locked key drop-off box at Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Marysville and stole two cars overnight, police said Tuesday.

Employees arrived to find a gaping hole in the wall of the business and the box on the ground. The missing cars were taken from the parking lot near the 9000 block of State Avenue. Detectives are now searching for a white 2014 Nissan Maxima and red 2013 Nissan Altima.

The Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force reports an increase in thefts at car dealerships. Last week, detective Terry Haldeman said five vehicles were stolen from a used car lot in Burlington,. All of the vehicles were recovered and one person was arrested.

“He told us it was literally just convenient to steal the vehicles,” said Haldeman. “There were orders out for those vehicles so he knew which five he wanted to get so he broke into the business took the keys and took the five cars.”

Marysville car dealership Mountain Loop Motorcars takes several safety precautions to prevent thefts. There are security cameras and the parking lot entrances are blocked at night. Manager Dave Kerney said the cars are all locked and the keys removed from the office at night.

“That’s the key you got to be smart about it and most people in the auto industry are,” said Kerney.

The auto theft task force is warning all local dealerships about the recent wave of thefts. Haldeman said there have been similar crimes at dealerships in King County.