22 vehicles stolen from dealership; GRPD calls it largest theft of 2020

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police are investigating what they are calling the largest theft of the year after nearly two dozen vehicles were stolen from a dealership that had yet to open.

“It’s a pretty low blow,” said Don Miller, the owner of Autowest of Grand Rapids. “It hurts.”

The theft happened overnight at the new Autowest, located at 487 28th St. SE, just east of Madison Avenue SE.

A group of thieves is believed to have thrown two rocks through the window of the owner’s office, stealing all 60 vehicle keys, Miller said.

Autowest of GR on 28th Street east of Madison Ave. SE after a break-in. Seventeen vehicles were stolen. (Aug. 7, 2020)

Thieves were able to steal 22 vehicles with a total estimated loss around $300,000.

Autowest general manager Dan Reese told News 8 that three of the vehicles were found in Grand Rapids, including two at the Taco Bell parking lot across the street.

“I can’t believe it,” salesperson Maria Sanchez said. “It’s so hard.”

Autowest of Grand Rapids was supposed to hold its grand opening Saturday. Security cameras were not recording video at the time of the break-in due to a change in the security system’s Wi-Fi.

“I feel violated,” said Miller, who added it took him three months to get the inventory for his lot. “This sets us way back,” he continued.

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