TORRANCE, Calif. (KABC) -- More than three dozen Nissan and Infiniti cars were stolen from an overflow lot in Torrance over the last several weeks.
But with more than 500 new cars on the lot, it took a while before employees at the Infiniti and Nissan of South Bay dealership realized the cars were gone.
Barry Wishengrad praised two South Bay police departments Monday for helping to recoup 25 stolen cars from the dealership's storage lot, which is off Skypark Drive.
He said he learned through Redondo Beach and Torrance police that gang members had been prying open lockboxes, grabbing the keys inside and driving off in brand new Infiniti and Nissan vehicles. They sold some of the cars or used them for parts, joyrides and as getaway cars in other crimes.
He said it wasn't until a Redondo Beach officer pulled over a stolen car that the theft ring was ultimately uncovered.
"Once they actually stopped one gang from stealing the cars, apparently they had told this to other gangs and they sold the idea to others. Next thing we knew, we had multiple gangs stealing our cars," Wishengrad said.
Since the thefts started six weeks ago, police have nabbed about 15 suspects. The dealership has increased security at the lot and even added new tracking devices to the cars.
Wishengrad had a message for those suspects still in possession of the remaining cars.
"We'll catch you," he said.
He added that along with the increased measures, the employees will be doing an inventory check once a week instead of once a month.
Dozens of cars stolen from Nissan, Infiniti dealership overflow lot in Torrance