HALTOM CITY, Texas -- AB Mahmoud of M USA Motor Company never thought it could happen to him.
"I guess we were just too comfortable," he said.
In so many years as a used-car dealership, his place has never been a target like this. Mahmoud says it has forced him to look at different kinds of security options.
On Memorial Day, he said thieves had broken into his lot. They took out surveillance cameras outside and smashed their way inside. In an instant, they had snatched AB's livelihood. Police have now identified one of the men responsible as Art Vega. He was arrested and booked into the Tarrant County Jail.
"The thing that worried me the most was, 'These people have keys to my vehicles,'" he said.
They had taken keys to nearly every car on the lot. Thieves first took a truck, which was quickly disabled after it was used to slam into the fence to get out of the lot. They had come back for more.
"Usually if they're gonna do something like that, they're not going to come back when business is open," said Haltom City Police Sgt. Eric Peters.
The next morning, they had taken a brown Chevy Malibu while AB Mahmoud was on the lot. This time, the owners were ready. They called Haltom City Police and tailed the car, usually a fruitless endeavor.
"You're on Interstate 30 with hundreds of other vehicles. It's a needle in a haystack," said Peters.
Unless that needle had GPS, which the stolen car did.
"I just kept on tracking them as I was driving behind them," Mahmoud said.
AB kept a safe distance every time they got a ping on GPS. An agent at the office helped pinpoint locations and was on the phone with dispatchers.
The chase that started in a car lot in Haltom City lasted an hour and ended in Dallas. Police say Vega was hiding under a car. He was later arrested and booked.
The business owner wants to thank the police departments for their quick reactions. They say another arrest was made in connection with this incident.
All car keys that were stolen have since been returned.
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