Originally published on Sept. 3By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A local car dealership is hoping for help finding more than a dozen cars that were stolen over the course of two days.

Surveillance video shows three mask men entered the service area of Luther Brookdale Dodge late Saturday night, taking five vehicles. But that was just the beginning.

READ MORE: Hy-Vee, Thrifty White Offer Pfizer Booster Shots

“It started Saturday night – they broke into the business, started taking vehicles we think only about five left Saturday night,” said Deputy Chief Mark Bruley.

Video taken from inside Luther Brookdale Dodge in Brooklyn Park shows masked men enter the service area and begin taking the vehicles they wanted.

“We believe Saturday night based video they came in with three of them they left with about five vehicles they were able to shuttle out of there and I don’t know if greed got to them because they came back with five or six accomplices and went at it again,” Bruley said.

The second trip inside the service center netted the burglars 12 additional vehicles.

“17 cars at this point is what we believe is missing,” said Bruley.

Bruley says they learned of the thefts from Minneapolis Police, who were called to investigate a man slumped over in a vehicle early Monday morning.

“They tried to make contact with that individual and he started ramming into their police cars and they took him into custody. They found out he was in a stolen vehicle and he had a bunch of key fobs from Brookdale Luther in Brooklyn Park,” Bruley said.

That’s when the dealership told investigators about the break-ins.

READ MORE: Gov. Walz Announces Drought Relief Package For Farmers, Livestock Producers

Detectives learned the vehicles were actually placed inside the service center to protect them from approaching storms.

“We had the inclement weather with the report of hail so the business put their vehicles inside the service area, so inside the building if you will, so they put the keys with each car. So once they broke into the building they had access to all the cars and all the keys that was in each car” Bruley said.

So far investigators have one person in custody and five cars recovered.

Four were found abandoned in neighborhoods across the metro.

Now the hunt is on for the 12 other missing vehicles and the people responsible for taking them.

“If you see a brand new vehicle, Jeep and it has no plates on it, especially if it’s parked on the side of the road or in an unusual place we are asking you to call 911,” Bruley said.

The man arrested in this case is expected to be charged with auto theft.

If you have any information about this case, Brooklyn Park Police would like to speak with you.

MORE NEWS: COVID In Minnesota: Nearly 3,000 New Cases, 27 Deaths Reported

Reg Chapman