Tabatha Roney says she was shocked when she realized her 2011 Cadillac Escalade had been stolen from her North Dallas apartment complex parking lot. She says she was even more shocked when she saw what the thieves did to her vehicle.
Thieves stripped her vehicle of anything of value. Pictures she gave to NBC 5 show they left little inside the frame. The seats, front roof, engine, doors, original wheels and tires, even airbags were gone.
"I can't even explain. I was in total shock and disbelief that someone could take an entire vehicle out of a highly secured apartment unit and strip it the way that they did," said Roney.
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"These were professionals," said NBC 5 law enforcement expert Don Peritz. "They'll take the car apart in the largest pieces they can possibly manage at one time, like the front clip, which would be the fender, the hood and grill as one piece."
These parts are often sold at illegal chop shops, a trend that isn't as prevalent as it was years ago, according to the North Texas Auto Theft Task Force.
"They'll even literally cut the vehicle in half to make certain that they can get the sunroof, the entertainment system, the motors that run the sunroof, all in one part and they'll sell it later pieces at a time," Peritz said.
Roney isn't sure how thieves got in her car. She claims the doors were locked and there was no evidence they shattered the windows inside the gated parking lot.
She said security camera footage from the complex, VV&M Apartments on Verde Valley Lane, shows someone driving her vehicle off the lot.
The auto theft task force reports that half of vehicles stolen were left unlocked.