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Two men charged with using key swap to steal luxury cars from dealers

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:43:01 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 25 2013 08:59:38 AM CST

Two men are in custody after authorities said they used a key swap technique to steal luxury cars from area dealerships.

READING, Pa. -

Two men have been arrested and accused of a luxury auto heist in Berks County.

The suspects stole two luxury vehicles worth more than $70,000 each using a key swap technique at area dealerships, said police.

Anthony Quezada, of Hialeah, Fla., and Juan Burgos, of New York City, stole two BMW X6 vehicles in December from BMW of Reading on Lancaster Avenue, police said.

"They specifically wanted to go outside and look at the two on the lot," said Cal Jones, the salesman who talked with the suspects.

According to the dealership, the heist was well-rehearsed. Quezada, 24, and Burgos, 26, walked in around closing time, asked to start the vehicles, but not drive them, said police.   

"While the one individual was looking at the car at the interior, the other person distracted the sales person in conversation," said Phil Francabandera, general sales manager at the BMW dealership.

"It had to be a matter of less than five seconds of the other guy saying, 'Hey look at this,' and I looked over and they switched the two keys," said Jones.

According to police, the two men came back and drove off with a burgundy and white X6, worth combined more than $140,000.

"It was horrible. I never thought it would have happened," said Jones.

Two Mercedes Benz vehicles were also stolen in November from Masano Mercedes, just down the road on Lancaster Avenue, using the same key swap technique, police said.

Now, BMW employees are taking extra precautions. They've put a colored zip tie and wire cage on the key.

"We secured them so this can't be done without us knowing it right away," said Francabandera. "We're gonna be a lot more vigilant going forward and be on alert."

The men were caught pulling off a similar heist at a Porsche dealership in Conshohocken, Montgomery Co., and were linked back to the thefts here.

Quezada and Burgos were arraigned on charges of theft by unlawful taking, criminal conspiracy, receiving stolen property and related charges. They were committed to the Berks County Jail on $250,000 bail each.