LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – A Las Cruces car dealership was broken into last week, and the suspects stole 11 vehicles, valued at $260,000.
The thieves also managed to steal 15 key fobs to vehicles still on the lot.
Base Auto Sales is located off of Sun Valley Drive and West Hadley Avenue. Owner Ron Sugamosto believes there must have been multiple suspects to steal that many vehicles. The incident has created many challenges for the business, but Sugamosto has moved quickly to repair the damage and keep moving forward.
“Well, we hustled up and got everything sealed and closed up, and we got new protection coming in for the car lot. I’m not going to say exactly what it is, so we’re going to try to do the best we can to survive these times,” he said.
Sugamosto said the repairs have cost his business nearly $10,000 dollars. The suspects broke into the office building by breaking two windows, where they were able to access all of the key fobs, he said. They then cut down a side fence and broke a barrier in the front of the building where they likely drove out all the vehicles.
“Being a car dealer, you’re very vulnerable. We’re the only people that have our product just sitting out day and night and it’s like a part store. It’s so bad the way times are changing. People are stealing stuff nightly almost,” Sugamosto said. “It’s very difficult. It hurts the sales people and hurts the business. And I think it hurts the community for something like this to go on. I believe that this is a great little town, but right now it’s getting pretty rough.”
With GPS technology and the help of local law enforcement, they have been able to recover seven vehicles. However, Sugamosto said the four vehicles that are yet to be located were not equipped with GPS technology.
There is a $500 dollar reward for anyone that can provide Las Cruces Police with information that may lead to the recovery of the vehicles.