FESTUS, Mo. (KSDK) - A bold crime has a Festus business owner thinking about new ways to protect his property. Eleven years ago, John Sands and a friend opened a car lot called Two Car Guys. Two summers ago, flooding damaged every truck on the lot. Later, the property was vandalized. Around a dozen vehicles were left with scratches. Now, there's more misfortune.
"We've dealt with our fair share of challenges and struggles and we kept our head up high," Sands said.
Sands is hard-working. He opens and closes the lot six days a week. Over Memorial Day Weekend, he took a few well-deserved days off work. When he returned on Tuesday, he noticed a 1999 Ford F-350 was missing from the lot.
"That truck there was selling for $10,000," Sands said. "I don't know how they started it. I have no idea."
Sands was puzzled, but optimistic because, Wednesday, he landed a sale. A couple came all the way from Cape Girardeau to buy a similar truck.
"They were in with my office manager, doing the paper work, and all of a sudden I hear this screeching out here."
Someone jumped in the couple's new truck and drove it out of the lot. It happened in broad daylight in front of everyone.
"The people inside, they were like, 'did they just steal my truck,'" Sands said.
Employees had just washed the truck and they'd left the keys inside. Sands says that's a pretty normal thing for staffers at a car lot to do. However, he's now rethinking how his business should operate.
"We've learned a valuable lesson," Sands said. "Just watch everybody and watch everybody close. There are some real desperate people out there."
After the trucks were stolen, Sands took to Facebook. He says a few people have called saying they may have spotted one of them in the Eureka area. At this point, neither truck has been returned.