Potential customer checks out new truck, returns later to steal it

Employees say they are making sure the trick won't work again.

A man who showed interest in a new pickup truck at a McDonough dealership returned later to steal it after pulling a clever switcheroo with the vehicle’s keys, authorities said.

The incident occurred late last month at the Legacy Ford dealership on Industrial Boulevard, police said. According to investigators, a salesman handed over the keys to a white F-350 Super Duty so the potential customer could crank it up.

He returned the key to the dealer after he finished, but it wasn’t the one he’d been given, police said. Authorities said the man came back about 15 minutes later and drove off the lot in the $70,000 pickup.

“It was a pretty big loss,” Ford dealer Justin Murray told Channel 2 Action News. “He handed the salesperson a fake key fob and kept the real key fob in his pocket.”

Investigators tracked the truck’s GPS to Jeff Davis County in South Georgia, but they haven’t been able to locate it.

Murray said he’d heard of car thieves swapping out keys at other dealerships, but never imagined it would happen at his.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect or knows the truck’s whereabouts is asked to call McDonough police at 678-782-6322.

In other news: 

Channel 2 Action News has learned that a man was rushed to the hospital Thursday night after he was shot at the QT gas station on Howell Mill Road.