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Corpus Christi motor dealers coping with seemingly similar thefts

Stolen Carts Still.jpg
Posted at 8:40 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 23:16:56-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Two businesses along North and South Padre Island Drive are hoping security footage released on social media will lead to answers in a set of thefts that began last week.

Most recently affected is Corpus Christi Cycle Plaza. Thursday morning general manager Matt Werkhoven said he noticed something was wrong while taking his children to school.

“I was driving by the dealership on the freeway and noticed our gate was ripped open and a couple of items that we used to block our pathway were pulled out in the middle of the parking lot,” Werkhoven said. “It alerted me that there was an issue, (I) turned around, came back and noticed that we had some product missing.”

Werkhoven said around 5 a.m., a customized 2019 Can-Am Defender Max Lone Star — a utility vehicle — was pulled out by a Crown Victoria after the chain to their outdoor gate had been cut.

“This unit had a lot of custom accessories — it’s valued probably close to 30 grand,” he said. “I don’t know if these people knew what they were going after — but they certainly appeared to. They went after it and took it and yeah — it’s a big loss for sure.”

Werkhoven adds that the theft appears to be very similar to another incident that happened at a different dealership last week.

On April 29 — Corpus Christi Golf Cars also experienced a theft. In this instance, a refurbished golf cart valued at $8,000 was pull out after a person used a pickup truck to pull down a gated fence and break past another. The whole process was captured on a security camera and lasted about an hour. Damages to their property were estimated at $2,000.

A manager from CC Golf Cars didn’t want to be interviewed, but said it’s disappointing to see instances like this and that they’re appearing to become more and more frequent.

According to their Facebook page, CC Golf Cars is offering a reward for information to help them identify those involved.

Back at Cycle Plaza, Werkhoven said his dealership is a family business. He said he takes the loss personally.

“It’s something that eats me up inside,” he said. “I’m going to be thinking about it for a while because, you just feel vulnerable, you feel like, how long are these people looking at our products, how long were they planning this?”

A spokesman for Corpus Christi Police Department told KRIS 6 News in a phone call that it’s too early in the investigation to see if there is a link within the cases. The department would not provide a police report of either case and directed us to make a public record records request, which was submitted Thursday evening.

Werkhoven’s Facebook post, however, does have a detailed description of his incident.

“My hope is to create awareness and to get the public involved in trying to maybe identify these people and get them off the streets,” he said. “Our business was here a few times last year and — it’s just common. We’re all in this crazy environment together and people that want to break the law or really steal in general just need to be taken off the streets — I want the public’s help to find these people and I want to put them in jail if it all possible.”

The Corpus Christi Police Department Auto Theft Task Force can be contacted at (361) 886-2874.