Sneaky thief swaps keys to steal SUV from Indian Trail auto dealer

(Provided by All City Auto Sales)
(Provided by All City Auto Sales)
Danil (Alex Giles/WBTV)
Danil (Alex Giles/WBTV)

INDIAN TRAIL, NC (WBTV) - A man was caught on camera stealing an SUV from an Indian Trail car vendor Tuesday night.

The incident happened at All City Auto Sales on Independence Blvd.

The owner of the business, Rami Danil, said a man came into his business shortly before closing time Tuesday night. Danil said the man was inquiring about a white 2009 GMC Yukon XL Denali. Danil said nothing about the man seemed suspicious.

"When the customer came in, he was asking all the right questions. He was inquiring about financing, he was telling us about his family and telling us he was in need of a bigger vehicle for his family," explained Danil.

The owner said he gave the man a key and allowed him to check out the vehicle in the car lot by himself. The man was seen in surveillance video walking from the business to the SUV a couple of times.

Danil said the man returned a key to the business before leaving for the day. The owner said he closed up the office and went home, but when he returned the next day, the white Denali was missing.

"I knew that we had gotten taken for by the morning when we came in, especially once I reviewed the footage and saw the same person at two different times," said Danil.

Danil's surveillance video shows a man come onto the car lot after hours Tuesday and take the Denali. He said he believes it is the same man who was looking at the vehicle a few hours earlier.

"I mean I was pissed off," Danil told WBTV.

The business owner thinks the man swapped the Denali key with a different GMC key while he was by himself looking at the SUV. He thinks the man kept the real key so he could steal the car once the business had closed.

"It's funny, but it's not uncommon," said Danil about the theft tactic.

He has filed a report with the Stallings Police Department regarding the incident and is providing police with his surveillance video in hopes that it will help locate the thief.

Stallings Police Chief Minor Plyler said the vehicle's information has been entered into the National Crime Information Center database. Plyler said this was the first theft of its kind his department his department had investigated and he recommends car dealers not leave car keys alone with potential customers.

Rami Danil said he wants customers to continue feeling welcome at his business, but understands security measures may need to increase.

"We'll squeeze up on what we need to do to handle things," said Danil.

He said he is willing to give a reward to anyone who helps find the thief or the stolen SUV.

Anyone with information about the theft should contact the Stallings Police Department.

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