NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - FOX 8 News has confirmed that at least 10 smash-and-grab burglaries involving a U-Haul truck and masked men have happened across Louisiana and Mississippi motorsport dealerships in recent months.
"They're happening all over. It's something law enforcement is aware of, and we're trying to investigate and apprehend individuals who are doing these types of burglaries," said Kenner Police Lt. Brian McGregor.
Surveillance video captured the thieves breaking glass doors to enter the buildings and using a lookout car and stolen U-Haul truck to make a quick escape.
Investigators believe the burglaries could be linked to a group in New Orleans.
"These vehicles are going up and down the highways," McGregor said. "So I mean, these individuals are not from Kenner. I mean, every time we've gotten in pursuit or gotten into a chase, we also wind up in Orleans Parish and on the interstate."
Kenner officers have arrested one person in connection with one of the burglaries.
Hall's Motorsports in Kenner and Harvey were both targeted by the criminals. The Harvey dealership is directly across the street from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's headquarters along the West Bank Expressway.
"They're taking dirt bikes and Raptors and stuff like that doesn't take keys," said Hall's Motorsport GM Dion Carrera. "They use them to run the roads until they tear them up, and they'll just dump them off."
Carrera said the burglars are usually in and out of the dealerships in less than a minute.
"It's happening all along the Gulf Coast right now. So it ain't just us here in New Orleans. It's Hattiesburg and Slidell, Baton Rouge got hit. Matter of fact that's where the U-Haul got stolen from on this last hit. So they don't care who it is or where it is. Just smash and grab," Carrera said.
In the past, the NOPD has said officers do engage people riding ATVs and dirt bikes illegally. However, it is common to see the people riding illegally on the interstate and throughout the city on a daily basis.