NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Authorities say a man who took an SUV on a test drive stole the vehicle at gunpoint.
He looked like any other customer shopping for a car at Philly Auto on Torresdale Avenue in the northeast, but police say the man turned out to be a carjacker after he took a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 out for a spin with the salesman, then stole it at gunpoint.
"The guy pulls a gun on him a few blocks from the dealership, tells him get out of the car and takes off with the car," Northeast Detectives Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum told FOX 29.
Police say the customer left the Philly Auto lot in the 4500 block of Torresdale around 7 p.m. behind the wheel of the jewel red high-end SUV. The salesman was in the passenger seat. The customer immediately began driving erratically when the salesman told him to pull over three blocks later--out came a black handgun, according to police. In seconds, the alleged carjacker and the SUV were gone.
"He doesn't just try to tell him to get out of the car, he pulls a handgun on him and points it at him," Lt. Rosenbaum explained.
The jeep which was on sale at Philly Auto for almost $38,000, vanished for almost 12 hours before it was discovered in a private parking garage at an apartment complex in Lower Merion Township.
"We're working with them right now trying to recover evidence from that vehicle," the lieutenant said.
Police say the carjacker left behind a fake license at the dealership. Investigators haven't seen a vehicle stolen during a test drive recently. They're concerned the man could try this again at other dealerships in the area.
"Obviously, these dealerships are going to have to take a little better precaution and vet the people they're taking out," Lt. Rosenbaum added.
Police are also trying to determine whether the stolen SUV might have been used in a crime and then dumped.
"Stolen vehicles are commonly used in other crimes. We'll have to look at that. They might have gotten rid of it waiting to do another crime," Lt. Rosenbaum said.
The car salesman was unavailable for comment. Police are reaching out to other police departments trying to determine if any other carjackings like this have occurred recently. They're also trying to determine if this might involve a stolen car ring.