HOUSTON—Police have arrested a man accused of stealing six cars from a dealership parking lot Tuesday morning.
Police said the man took all the time he needed, because there was not a security guard there to stop him.
Bayway employee Mike Abdul spent most of his day Tuesday looking through hours of surveillance video, to catch the thief.
It shows the man walking onto the lot at 1:30 Tuesday morning and driving, one by one, six cars right off the lot. The burglar took his time: two hours uninterrupted.
“The thief had luckily hit on a night that our security wasn’t here,” said Darryl L. Wischnewsky, the dealership owner.
Usually, an off-duty police officer guards the dealership overnight.
“He had someone else fill in for him, and that officer said that he had forgot about it,” said Wischnewsky.
Police arrested a 22-year-old man named Albert Palmer. They said he is responsible for, not only stealing the cars, but also for allegedly taking diagnostic computers and state smog inspection stickers.
“The state inspections stickers would be sold out on the street to cars that would not be legal to pass the state inspection, and those cars would be out there potentially killing somebody,” said Wischnewsky.
What he found even more alarming was the man’s knowledge of where to break in on the property.
“He knows where all the keys were located. He knew where the state inspection center was,” said Wischnewsky.
Police officials are investigating how the man knew detailed information about the dealership security.
“I don’t know if he had some connection there, or if he had worked there, it’s hard to say. I can’t speculate on how he knew that information,” said Vance Mitchell, the PIO for the Pasadena Police Department.
Police found all six cars and the equipment intact at different locations. For now, Wischnewsky said he’ll consider it a lesson learned.
“We’ll take some of the blame for this right here. For maybe being a bit lackadaisical in our efforts to secure the facility at night,” said Wischnewsky.
Police, at this time, believe this dealership break-in is an isolated incident and unrelated to any other dealership burglaries.