CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – Car thefts, including those in which vehicles are stolen directly from dealerships, are on the rise.

In the past three weeks, Queen City News has obtained video of at least four different incidences of cars being stolen from dealerships.

The first occurred on Feb. 19 in Lexington. Thieves broke into Capital Chevrolet Buick GMC of Lexington, used a crowbar to break into the key lock box, and drove off with seven cars worth $344,483.

Then on Feb. 27, Adams Auto on Independence Blvd. in Charlotte was hit. The suspects drove vehicles from the showroom through the dealership’s doors, making off with a Maserati and three BMWs with a total value of about $300,000.

On Mar. 9, Modern Nissan on Statesville Rd. in Cornelius captured surveillance video of suspects driving off with an Audi and a Dodge Durango.

Finally, just this past Monday, a group of thieves took six cars from Mountain Mitsubishi in Hickory. The total value was nearly $500,000.

Some experts in the automotive industry believe the nationwide rise in vehicle thefts stems from perpetrators stealing cars for their parts.

“We keep an eye on catalytic converter theft quite a lot, and we know the palladium, the rhodium, the platinum inside of those things is going for hundreds of thousands of dollars an ounce,” said CarFax Editor-In-Chief Patrick Olsen.

CMPD said they know about the recent dealership thefts and are searching for a possible connection.

Vehicle thefts in the Queen City increased by 20 percent in 2022 from the year prior.