CRESTWOOD, Ill. (WGN) – The manager of a Chicago-area car dealership said a woman came into the facility on Thursday, took some keys when no one was looking, and took off with one of the cars.
Mike Elsayed, the manager of Your Choice Auto Sales in Crestwood, said it all happened within a matter of minutes. Elsayed said the woman almost hit him as she was leaving, too.
“I was like ‘Stop, stop’ and she was looking into my eyes, ‘No, no,'” Elsayed said. “She started driving the vehicle and I just had to jump at the last second, otherwise she would have run me over.”
The theft took place around 4 p.m. Thursday, after an unknown woman walked into the office and helped herself to several keys that were hanging in an area exclusively for employees.
“At the beginning, I thought one of my co-workers — because I have a mechanic and a detailer — gave her a key and she’s going for a test drive,” Elsayed said. “I rushed to the car trying to stop her because I just wanted to put a plate on the car.”
He then quickly realized the woman’s intentions.
“I went straight to my phone, I called 911,” Elsayed said. “They came a few minutes later, I explained everything to them. They tried to track her and go after her.”
Elsayed says he’s heard of other dealerships experiencing similar issues.
“This has been happening for a few months now, not just to us, but to almost every dealership in the state,” Elsayed said. “And not just used car dealerships like us; they even target new car dealerships and luxury car dealerships.”
Elsayed said the stolen car was later recovered on the side of the road in Indiana, as were some of the other keys she allegedly grabbed. But he still wants to share the story, to warn other managers or car owners to take “more precautions.”
Police have yet to report whether the woman had been found, or what charges she could face.