2 Berkenkotter car dealerships burglarized in less than 2 weeks

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Criminals have hit two Colorado car dealerships in less than two weeks, swiping thousands of inventory from the lots.

Five cars were stolen from the lot just north of Brighton and now in Castle Rock, the crooks stole the safe filled with dozens of car keys on Saturday night.

“They broke the desks apart and tore everything out,” said Dan Berkenkotter, owner of Berkenkotter Motors. “They took keys, they took our whole safe. Even our fish tank, they dumped all the fish food in the tank.

The criminals spent three hours on the lot. Surveillance video captured one suspect casually kicking in the side glass door.

He paused to put on a mask, then went inside and got all of the keys. Berkenkotter said the suspects stuck screwdrivers in ignitions and made off with a 1996 Winnebago Rialta.

“Having all these keys, they could easily slip in here and start taking cars now,” Berkenkotter said.

On Sept. 13, criminals stole five cars from the Berkenkotter lot off U.S. Highway 85 north of Brighton.

“There was at least six people here we can tell that much,” general manager Mike Wright said.

Surveillance video the suspects also used masks to cover part of their faces. While police are investigating if both robberies are connected, Berkenkotter is offering a big reward.

“You can clearly see his face and if anybody gets him to police to arrest him, I’m willing to give them $5,000 just to get this guy,” Berkenkotter said.

The owner does not have theft insurance on any of the vehicles. Employees later found a cellphone on the lot that they think belongs to one of the suspects. They have turned that over to police.

A handful of other businesses in this same area of Castle Rock were also burglarized in September.

Great Clips, Papa Murphy’s and the Safeway gas station near Plum Creek Boulevard were burglarized on Sept. 12, but the Castle Rock Police Department does not think those crimes are connected to the car dealership burglary.

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