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The Final Year Of The Charger And Challenger As We Know It Coincides With Thieves Targeting Dealerships

2023 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Theft

2023 marks the final year of the Dodge Charger and Challenger as we know it, which means many people will likely scramble to get their hands on one before time runs out. Unfortunately, the goal is proving difficult with large amounts of dealerships adding markups to the cost of the vehicles, and lack of availability overall. This is creating a perfect storm for thieves, not that Dodge muscle cars weren’t already hot commodities.

In the latest high-profile incident, a group of what looks to be well-trained thieves recently managed to steal six Dodge Challenger Hellcats from Don Franklin Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Somerset, Kentucky. And it happened in less than a minute.

The incident occurred around 2:00 AM local time on February 28. A video was recently uploaded to YouTube showing the inside of the showroom as the crooks quickly got in the cars and got away with them. Four of the Hellcats were in the showroom, while the other two were outside the lot. The camera’s perspective only showed the theft of three vehicles in the building. How did they get the cars so easily? Apparently, the dealer left the keys in the ignition. As for the two cars outside, those were found in the building.

For the vehicles inside, we can see that the thieves even thought to put temporary license plates on them to make the cars appear legal on the road. The dealership believes that someone with inside information may be involved, as the crooks seemed to know how the security system worked. They managed to get in and out with 20 seconds to spare before the alarm was set off. Unfortunately for the thieves, the theft resulted in a high-speed police chase. About an hour after the crime, a Kentucky State Police trooper spotted four Challengers heading west on Cumberland Parkway. The resulting chase had the drivers driving at speeds as high as 180 miles per hour, fast enough to get out of the officer’s visual range.

Cops from a separate county deployed spike strips, resulting in them disabling one of the cars where they caught a 19-year-old driver attempting to flee on foot. As of March 1, the police managed to recover five of the six Dodge Challenger Hellcats. One ran out of gas and was by the side of the road. Authorities found two others in Kentucky, one in Tennessee, and another in Alabama. Police believe the remaining missing car is also somewhere in Alabama.

2015 2016 2017 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Manual Transmission
2015 Challenger Hellcat. Image via Dodge.

Written by Zac Quinn

Zac's love for cars started at a young age, after seeing the popular Eleanor from Gone In 60 Seconds. From there, fascination and enthusiasm blossomed and to this day the Ford Mustang remains a favorite. His first job started out detailing cars, but also provided the opportunity to work on restoration including an 1968 Ford Mustang, Pontiac Firebird, and a C3 Corvette, though he left that job before further work and experience could be had. From there, he was a detailer at a car dealership before quitting that job to try and finish college.

Much of his free time while studying was spent watching YouTube videos regarding new cars, or off-roading. 4WD247 is a personal favorite channel which rekindled a dying flame in car enthusiasm, now tailored towards trucks and SUVs and the fun that can be had building up an overlanding rig, and going on adventures, though, that chapter remains unwritten for the time being.

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