Social media post helps Topeka dealership find stolen car

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 5:56 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - One man was arrested Wednesday in Jackson County after he dressed as a salesman and stole a vehicle from a Topeka dealership.

Capital City Nissan’s managing partner, Tom Hood, credits the community for helping find the suspect and recover the car.

”Inventory is very hard to get for most car dealerships and so losing an extra car to sell is tough right now,” he added.

A 2017 Nissan Infiniti Q60 was stolen from Capital City Nissan Monday afternoon.

Hood said, “This guy somehow shows up dressed as one of our sales guys, walks right through our lot and then because our garage doors and everything are open our technicians are less than ten feet away, they just assume it’s another sales guy getting into a vehicle and moving it.”

The dealership shared the surveillance video of the incident on its Facebook page with a $1,000 reward.

Hood said, “I think it was shared over 10,000 times and that next morning I had a phone call from somebody that gave us a tip that led to the arrest of the person.”

Deputies located Danny Belisle Jr. at a home in Jackson County and arrested him for felony possession of stolen property.

Hood said he’s grateful for the community’s quick reaction.

“The power of social media is just amazing to me because I’ve had cars stolen ten years ago and we had no outlet for anything quite like that, nothing that would possibly bring that kind of attention,” he said.

Now, Hood is sounding the alarm to warn other dealerships.

“We don’t want this to be a problem for Topeka. I just want to make sure everybody knows and hears this story because there’s lots of other car dealerships around, and I don’t want them to get into the same situation where somebody is attempting to look like one of their sales guys and then showing up on the lot and stealing cars.”

When Jackson County deputies located Belisle, the car appeared to have been involved in an accident after it was stolen.

Hood said they will get it back by the end of the week and assess the damages. He said they are just glad to have it returned.

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