SNELLVILLE, Ga. - Police in Gwinnett County are investigating a series of break-ins at car dealerships around the Snellville area. The latest break-in happened at Zams Used Car Dealership on Stone Mountain Highway where managers said the culprits stole a car and all of their car keys.
"We’re a small business…this is our livelihood," Zams Office Manager Cheri O’Neal said.
The small business saw a big loss early Sunday morning when two men broke into their office and took more than 90 sets of car keys.
"We were averaging about $35,000 just in keys," O’Neal stated.
According to O’Neal, the men broke in through her office window on the one night the building’s alarm wasn’t set. Surveillance video captured them trying to re-position cameras, breaking into a locked closet where the keys were kept and then grabbing them one by one.
"It’s unfortunate and…they got lucky because we had someone break in two weeks ago, they made it through the front door, the alarm went off and they left," she recalled.
It is unclear if the other break-ins were carried out by the same people. O’Neal said what was clear is that the men seen Sunday knew exactly what they were looking for and where to find them. The office manager told FOX 5 even with just those keys, the suspects also took their ability to provide for their families.
"It’s just so frustrating that…they’re still out there," she said. "We’ve had customers the last two days come they want to see cars and we have to turn them away because we don’t have a key to start the car."
O’Neal said the staff at Zams has been on edge since Sunday—hoping the individuals responsible don’t return for the cars themselves.
"We were up all last night watching cameras…my biggest concern is they have all of our keys so they can come at any time," she told FOX 5.
O'Neal said they have filed reports with the Gwinnett County Police Department who are now investigating the case. They’ve also installed a new security system while they work with their insurance to get those keys replaced. Anyone with information that can help shoul call the Gwinnett County police at 770-513-5480.