AKRON, Ohio — In parts of Summit County, cars are disappearing from old car lots, but it’s not because of the great deals.
Instead, thieves are going to great lengths to steal vehicles.
Akron Police and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office are trying to determine whether a group of people are responsible for the thefts of seven cars over the weekend.
On the night of August 27, crooks climbed onto the roof of Best Deals 2 Auto Sales on East Talmadge Avenue, removed an exhaust fan, rammed into the building and stole several sets of keys.
Surveillance video shows a man entering a 2012 Toyota Camry and driving it from a long distance. The owner of the small business, Ammar Yasim, said the man ran over a fence to get away.
A 2012 Ford Fusion and a 2015 Jeep Cherokee were also stolen. Akron police recovered the Cherokee and found the keys to the Camry and Fusion inside the Jeep. However, the Camry, which costs $10,000, and the Fusion, which costs $6,000, are still missing.
“Of course, I was upset. Trust me, I’m very upset about it,” Yasim said. “That’s my question: Who are they selling it to? Who’s buying them, and they know these people are criminals?”
Yasim said the thieves damaged the transmission of the Cherokee. He has insurance on stolen cars, but said his rates would go up when he files a claim.
Yasim said, “I don’t think a normal human being would do that, and especially being a young man, he can get a job. These days we are looking for employees to come to work and no work wants to do.”
On August 29, four cars were stolen from the Regency Auto Sales lot in Coventry Township. The vehicles not detected are a 2011 Nissan Rogue, a 2014 Ford Escape, a 2017 Ford Fusion, and a 2012 Fusion.
Regency owner Ed Mossa said his office was vandalized and ransacked. The keys were snatched and $30,000 worth of cars were stolen from the lot.
“Of course, it’s going to be tough, but what can we do? We’re just waiting for the police to see what they’re going to do,” Mossa said.
Both owners believe that the same group of thieves is responsible for all car thefts and fear this will continue.
“It’s a gang, of course. It’s not just one person. They work together,” Yasim said.
Yasim also told News 5 that the crimes put a strain on his business which usually doesn’t move a lot of cars. He sells about five cars a month and the pandemic has made things even more difficult.
“We are struggling to make a living here. Selling a car is no longer easy,” he said.
Akron police said they are looking for the stolen auto and would like to hear from anyone who may have information about the crimes.
Anyone with information is asked to call Akron Police at 330-375-2181.