Thieves target Route 40 Honda dealership 5 cars are stolen in as many days

July 07, 1993|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Staff Writer

Five cars have been stolen from the O'Donnell Honda lot on Route 40 at Ridge Road since the beginning of the month, leaving the business' manager puzzled by the magnitude of the theft.

"It's pretty amazing," said manager Brian Schwenk.

Employees on Friday reported a 1991 Accord stolen from the Ellicott City lot between 8 p.m. Thursday and 6:45 a.m. the next day. A second 1990 Accord was reported stolen from the dealership between 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Sunday. It was recovered in Baltimore on Sunday.

Over the holiday weekend, between late Saturday and early Monday, thieves stole two gold Honda Accords from the lot. About the same time, someone tried to steal two more gold Honda Accords and a green 1993 Civic, police said.

A 1993 gray Accord, reported stolen from the lot between 5 p.m. Sunday and 12:30 a.m. Monday, was recovered by Baltimore County police, who arrested its occupants. The suspects' names were unavailable yesterday.

Police are not sure whether the car thefts are related. Several car lots along Route 40, including O'Donnell Honda, have had periodic car thefts in the past but never this many at once, police said.

The cars were discovered missing from the large lot at different times, accounting for the random reports to police, said Sgt. Gary Gardner, public relations director of the Howard County police.

Mr. Schwenk was unsure how the cars were stolen but expressed surprise at the audacity of the thieves, "considering the visibility, location and lighting" of the lot, he said yesterday. The lot is less than a mile from police headquarters on Rodgers Avenue in Ellicott City.

O'Donnell Honda's lot is usually blocked off by a car when the business is closed, and the lot was closed for the holiday weekend, Mr. Schwenk said.

The recent thefts have taken the O'Donnell dealership by surprise. Mr. Schwenk said he will consider changing security tactics in the future, but he is not sure how.

"We're just gathering all the facts right now," he said.

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