CLEVELAND — Spitzer Kia’s showroom at 3414 Brookpark Road in Cleveland is always bustling.
“We are a very busy store. we sell a lot of vehicles,” said General Manager Freddy Mansour. “We spend a lot of money in advertising and purchasing of the vehicle.”
Friday afternoon, when three juveniles walked into the store, they didn’t think much of it.
“They came from the side of the building and walked into the dealership,” said Mansour.
But within minutes they grabbed a set of keys off of a table and left.
“Put the keys in their pockets, walked right out the front of the door and hopped in a brand new 2022 Kia Seltos and took off,” he said.
Mansour said in his 10 years at the dealership, he’s never seen anything like it.
“We’ve been around for a very long time and we do things right and for someone to come in our dealership and steal what’s not theirs, it’s really, really frustrating,” he said.
Mansour thought he’d seen the last of them, but said Tuesday afternoon the same group of juveniles came back.
“The same group of individuals that stole our Seltos on Friday came back today, walked in our dealership, same scenario, grabbed a key right off the table in front of the customer,” he said.
This time, the juveniles only got away with a key. But Mansour said they stole the keys, while the stolen black Kia Seltos was parked across the street.
“I actually had a sales person confront them and run across the street after them and they tried to run them over,” said Mansour.
The juveniles got away before police arrived.
“Thank God nobody was hurt,” said Mansour. “I know that they are doing it to other dealerships.”
Just under two miles down Brookpark Road, Gillingham Ford dealership had a similar encounter Monday.
“You feel exposed, especially when you’re trying to do the right thing,” said Scott Lockhart, the general sales manager for Gillingham Ford.
He said the juveniles distracted a salesperson and stole a set of keys. The surveillance video shows them driving away in what seems to be the black, Kia Seltos
The keys were re-programmed and the car is already sold.
“It’s traveling and on its way to New York,” said Lockhart.
But Gillingham Ford is no stranger to this type of behavior. In September, thieves stole three cars from the dealership. Since then, Lockhart said they have stepped up their security efforts.
“We feel more secure in our property than we ever have. With the additional measures that we took, there’s not much more we can do,” he said.
Mansour is hopeful the kids are caught.
“It is not right and no dealership and no retailer should have to deal with it,” he said. “That’s now how I was raised, let’s put it that way.”
Spitzer Kia is offering a reward for any information leading to an arrest and the return of the black, Kia Seltos. If you know anything, you’re asked to call Cleveland police.