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Man sought in connection with 2 San Diego County auto dealership break-ins

Driver slammed stolen truck into fence, drove off in SUV
Posted at 11:31 AM, Oct 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-17 15:09:46-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Police are searching for a man who stole a truck from a La Mesa auto dealership, used it to take down a gate at a Kearny Mesa dealership, and then drove off the lot in an SUV.

San Diego police said they received a call at around 6:15 a.m. Thursday regarding a truck that knocked down a gate at the Kearny Mesa Ford/Kia dealer on 7300 Clairemont Blvd.

According to police, the truck rammed a back gate to the dealership but could not get through fully, prompting the driver to get out.

The driver, described as a man wearing a red shirt and khaki pants, managed to find a key box and got into a Ford Mustang.

The driver tried to leave the lot, but apparently could not find his way out, so he abandoned the Mustang, police told 10News.

The driver obtained a key to a black SUV, believed to be a Cadillac Escalade, and drove off the lot.

Police later spotted the SUV on state Route 52 near Convoy Street, but the driver could not be found.

In addition to the gate, 10News learned multiple vehicles on the lot were damaged.

Investigators determined the truck used to knock down the Ford dealership gate was stolen earlier in the morning from the Carl Burger auto dealership, located on 8355 Hercules St. in La Mesa.

Lakeside-based Windows Solutions confirmed with 10News that their truck, which was at the La Mesa dealership for repairs, was stolen.

Darrell Johnston, a local contractor for a fence company, said this is the third time in two months that he will be repairing the gate at the Ford dealership.

“It’s just sad that there are individuals out there that are willing to do this for a car or whatever their motive is,” Johnston said.

Johnston said the gate would take a few days to repair and likely cost about $4,000.

A more detailed description of the suspected thief was not immediately available.