The owners of a Morayfield car dealership hit by cunning thieves in the early hours of Monday morning have appealed to the community for help.
Pippa Deakin says the Carmart business she and husband James have run for the past 26 years is hamstrung after thieves broke into a safe used to store keys before stealing them, along with two vehicles from the locked caryard.
“People steal cars all the time and you have insurance for that, but taking every single key….we can’t do a thing,” Pippa says.
“They’ve taken about 80 sets of keys – my old car’s in the yard and it’s European and it’s a four to six week wait to have the keys replaced.”
Without the keys, Carmart staff have no way of moving vehicles around the yard, preparing them for sale, or even delivering them to new owners.
Pippa says the dealership is working with locksmiths to replace and reconfigure as many keys as they can, as quickly as possible, to ensure cars remaining at the yard cannot be taken using the stolen keys and the business can resume trading.
They are also installing bollards and security cameras.
She was heartened to hear from a customer from whom they had bought a car earlier in the year, offering a spare key he had accidentally kept.
“We’re appealing other customers who might have kept the spare keys to cars we’ve bought to contact us.”
She's also offering a reward for information that leads to the return of the keys. If you can help phone 0492 019 103.
As well as the keys, she believes thieves were specifically targeting a green 2011 Holden Maloo utility and stole a white 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser as a backup vehicle.
“It was a pristine Maloo ute that’s very sought after,” she says.
“They moved other cars around to access it.”
Pippa was shocked to hear from a car dealer at Mount Gravatt this morning, who she says was the victim of an identical theft a week ago.
“They had an HSV GTS stolen and a 4WD as well.”
Pippa and James were woken by a call from the Queensland Police Dog Squad about 1.40am on Monday, alerting them to a car on fire in the easement adjacent to the dealership.
Police say the silver 2004 BMW 325i, with Queensland registration 361-ZZZ was alleged to have been stolen from Beachmere.
They are appealing for anyone with information, or who was travelling around Morayfield in the early hours of Monday morning to check dash cam footage and contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000, quoting reference numbers QP2101039576 and QP2101039704 or make an online report here.