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Gone in 40 Seconds: 6 Dodge Charger Hellcats Stolen in One Ultra-Fast Heist

The Dodge Charger Hellcat is already a difficult car for dealerships to get on their lots, and demand has only skyrocketed since news broke that the Hemi V-8 powerplant is being replaced by electric motors. It’s no wonder that the car just as coveted by thieves, who either want to joyride the 700-hp-plus muscle machines or strip them for their go-fast parts (or, heck, why not both?), provided they can get away with it. Just recently, a team of seven criminals was able to grab six of the speedy Dodges—that’s nearly $600,000 worth—from one Kentucky dealership, and did so speedily.

The dealership in Somerset, Kentucky, was broken into at around 2:00 am, according to WKYT. According to the dealership’s manager, the thieves came in through a rear garage door and seemed to know how the security system worked, raising some eyebrows. The first four cars taken were parked inside the showroom and, apparently, easily nabbed because the keys were inside of them. In this MotorTrend staffer’s experience working at dealerships in the past, even show floor cars have their keys located inside a lockbox. Granted, this dealership did have a lockbox—and the final two cars that were taken had their keys relieved from one such box, so they’re not exactly magic bullets.

Most surprising was the total time it took from break-in to driving off in the purloined Dodges: A mere 40 seconds. Notably, that time beat the alarm’s reaction by 20 seconds, and the police’s response by nearly three minutes. Not only would that be about the time it takes to make an espresso, but for six cars to go missing in that timeframe beats the national average of auto thefts. Every day in America, around two cars are stolen every 60 seconds.

With a Charger Hellcat listed between $80,000 and $95,000, that means nearly $600,000 worth of Dodges left the dealership with those thieves. That doesn’t mean they disappeared forever, though. Five of the six cars have been recovered, with one of them having ran out of gas roughly 25 miles away. It was found within Pulaski County, Kentucky, on the side of the Cumberland Parkway. The next one was found a further 45 miles west of Somerset in Adair County, Kentucky; then another in Bowling Green (another 121 miles west), Tennessee; and one more made it as far as Alabama. From the sounds of it, the thieves were using the I-65 South to make their out-of-state getaway. One car is likely a total loss, and two were undamaged. The other two Dodges that were recovered are in an unknown condition.

The sixth car has yet to be located, on account of its GPS unit being damaged, according to the dealer’s manager. “We have an idea of where the last one is,” said Adam Bryant, the dealership’s manager, to WKYT, “It looks like they damaged the GPS on it, but it’s picking up and seems like it’s in Alabama.”

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