Staff at a southeast Calgary car dealership say they feel violated after a group of thieves broke into an office, stole car keys and drove off with five vehicles.
The incident happened early Saturday morning at Country Auto Credit on 51 Street SE.
The suspects broke through the gate to the car lot, then entered the office through a window, after removing its protective bars.
“They didn’t just rip it off the side wall; they took the time to unscrew it. So they knew what they were doing and they knew they had time to do it,” Country Auto Credit employee Lori Brunelle said.
According to staff and interior security video, three or four individuals ransacked the office, stealing keys and some personal items, including food left in the office fridge.
“They came in numerous times and literally, over the course of a four-hour period, they came in, took a vehicle, drove it out the front gate and just repeated the process,” Brunelle said.
“They took things out of our fridge. That’s some of our personal items. The staff feels violated.”
The combined value of the five stolen vehicles is estimated at around $100,000.
In October, Calgary police reported a “significant increase” in the number of break and enters at homes and businesses through the city.
CPS said there had been a 51 per cent increase in B&E activity in the first seven months of 2019 compared to the five-year average.
Since speaking with Global News, one of the vehicles stolen from Country Auto Credit was recovered. It was found abandoned at a nearby swimming pool parking lot.
Brunelle is confident the others will be located as well.