NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — For years, criminals have been stealing some of the fastest muscle cars on the road, including the Dodge Charger, Challenger, and Hellcat.
Instead of trying to blend into the scenery, these thieves are allegedly using these high-octane speedsters to commit other crimes, including stealing even more vehicles.
According to the Metro Nashville Police Department, 149 high-performance Dodge vehicles were stolen last year in Music City last year. So far this year, there have already been 51 such thefts.
Meanwhile, in the smaller city of Gallatin, authorities have already reported five thefts and two attempted thefts of these high-end automobiles.
“Obviously Nashville has more car dealerships and got more vehicles, but like I said, we have had an uptick in high-performance vehicles being stolen,” Gallatin Police Capt. Lamar Ballard explained. “In our area, for five, for just this year, is a high number for us.”
The Gallatin Police Department showed News 2 surveillance footage focusing on the rear lot of a local car dealership from earlier this year.
According to officials, a white Dodge Scat Pack was seen driving through the rows of cars, over a ditch, and through a chain link fence that had been cut ahead of time.
On top of that, authorities said the thieves came to that lot in a Dodge Challenger taken from another lot.
However, while stealing the white car shown on the video, the suspects left behind the other high-performance vehicle.
“We believe that these individuals are coming in with stolen vehicles from other jurisdictions, looking to steal other high-performance Dodges, but they’re also committing auto burglaries while they’re doing this,” Ballard said.
Ballard told News 2 this type of criminal has come a long way from trying to blend into the background and not draw attention to themselves.
Now, car thieves seem to focus on stealing the fastest and coolest cars with the most horsepower to begin their crime sprees.
“You are exactly right and I think that is exactly what they are doing it for. They are getting these high-performance vehicles that they know are fast, that they know can probably outrun a police car, so they are coming up in that jurisdiction, in stolen vehicles, looking for high-performance vehicles to leave in.”
Some published reports indicate thieves are stealing these muscle cars and selling them overseas, where they garner a higher price, but investigators in Nashville and Gallatin do not believe that is the case here.
According to Gallatin authorities, shortly after the white Dodge was stolen from the Gallatin lot, it was involved in a high-speed chase with Kentucky State Police.
Joiyne Robinson, 22, of Nashville, reportedly ditched the car and ran away. He was captured and has refused to talk to police about the Gallatin theft.