Thieves steal exhaust systems from 13 pickups at Gerry Wood Auto Group

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 5, 2013

SALISBURY — Authorities are asking anyone with information into the elaborate theft of exhaust systems from pickups at Gerry Wood Auto Group to contact them.
Thieves cut a fence in a rear parking lot at the Salisbury dealership, located at 529 S. Jake Alexander Blvd. Someone took their time to unscrew the entire exhaust system from 13 Dodge Ram pickups.
The cost of such a theft is more than $66,000, said Salisbury Police Capt. Shelia Lingle.
The theft was discovered Monday morning. Lingle said thieves took every screw and bolt, the muffler and catalytic converter and even unplugged the wiring. Officials believe whoever stole the parts will try to sell them for scrap.
It was hard to detect the cuts to the chain-link fence, which was placed back on the post. Attempts to reach Brad Wood with Gerry Wood Auto Group was unsuccessful. When asked what type of undertaking would it have been for thieves to remove the parts, Johnny Keen, owner of Johnny’s Muffler and Auto Express said at least 45 minutes. If his employees were removing an exhaust system for repair at his South Main Street shop it would take about 30 minutes, he said.
He believes with the removal of that many parts it was likely done by multiple people. In his years of work he’s seen thieves take catalytic converters and other parts of the exhaust system to be sold for scrap. He’s even had thieves target his business in the past, he said.
Keen said he would wager the thieves who stole the parts will try to sell them online.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Salisbury Police Department at 704-638-5333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.