Thefts caught on camera frustrate local car dealer

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WYOMING, Mich. — The owners of Rivera Auto Sales came to work March 27 to learn of another theft on their car lot. It occurred the day before in broad daylight and was caught on surveillance cameras. Take a good look to see if you recognize the culprit or culprits, their vehicles and their clothing.

"They were in and out in a couple minutes [and] took the headlights right off," Carlos Rivera said.

He said the shop is closed on Sundays, like all of the other used car dealers along Division Avenue in Wyoming.

"This guy is the first guy that showed up," Rivera said as he pointed to a screen. "He's kind of on his cell phone."

A man showed up to the shop in a gray GMC Denali and popped the hood on a Chevy Impala. He left empty handed. About a half an hour later, a man showed up in white Chevy Monte Carlo, his face covered by his sweatshirt's hood, and he had a ratchet. The man lifted the car's hood, unscrewed the headlights and left.

It's not clear if it was same man both times.

Rivera said he bought replacement parts the next day. While the parts are cheap parts, it's upsetting for him nonetheless.

"We're not the only place," Rivera said. "My cousin down the street, they actually broke into his office."

Whether a vehicle is locked or unlocked, Rivera said, thieves make entry anyway they can. He said one busted out the window on another car and stole a stereo on his lot in January.

"When it becomes a common occurrence it does get more frustrating. Then we have to spend more money on parts, labor. Sometimes they might still a part that we can't find."

He wants people to know these crimes don't just impact him. "This is our family business. We've been here, been in business almost 10 years."

"It's nothing big, but it's definitely something we want to bring awareness to that's been happening for quite a while," Rivera said.

He filed a police report with the Wyoming Police Department. If you have any information, call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.​

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  • Morgan

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