Radios, GPS units ripped out of 58 cars at Szott Dodge dealership

- Some stealthy thieves pulled off quite the heist in Highland Township.

Radios and high-tech GPS systems were swiped from nearly five dozen new cars. These guys knew exactly what they were doing. They didn't set off any alarms when they broke into those cars and knew exactly what they wanted - touch screens.

"(Two) whole rows of Chargers and Challengers - they smashed out the rear window and climbed through the back window," owner Thad Szott says. "They had to take part of the dash part."

Szott says when it was all said and done, thieves had broken into 58 Dodge Chargers, Challengers and Durangos - stealing 52 radio and GPS touchscreens.

FOX 2: "What's the damage?"

"From what we know today, up to a $175,000 but it seems like it's climbing as we get more into the vehicles," he says.

The thefts and break-ins were discovered Monday morning at the Szott Dodge dealership in Highland Township. The thieves got around security guards and car alarms to pull off the caper, which may be a part of a larger organized theft ring.

"When you look at the vehicles, they were all done meticulously the same way," says Szott. "So it had to be a team of professional thieves."

The touchscreen radio and GPS systems are coded specifically for each vehicle, but that anti-theft technology did not keep the crooks from targeting them - and that's raising eyebrows.

"Somehow they're getting around, resetting if you will, the stereo to get it to work (for) whoever they're getting them sold to," Szott says.

FOX 2: "You've seen this before?"

"Yes. Unfortunately there's been a lot of these kinds of thefts that have occurred throughout the whole metropolitan area," says Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.

Bouchard says he's working with the Chrysler special investigations unit and other police agencies to find the people responsible.

"Sometimes they target dealerships where they go after large numbers like they did here," Bouchard says. "Other times they target neighborhoods where they hit two or three cars. But it's always the same focus - the navigation and radio system."

Szott Dodge and Crime Stoppers are offering a cash reward for information leading to an arrest.

If you know anything about what happened call 1-800-Speak-Up.

And if you're in the market for a new car, Szott Dodge says after being hit liked this, they could use the business.

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