Man Suspected in Auto Thefts From Dealership May Be Linked to Others: Police

Police are investigating whether a man suspected of stealing from a Toyota dealership may be involved in other cases

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    A suspected serial car thief who is accused of stealing several cars from a Toyota dealership in Torrance was arrested. Randy McIlwain reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (Published Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014)

    Police believe that a man arrested in connection with the thefts of three cars from a Toyota dealership in Torrance may be connected to other similar cases, Torrance police said.

    Jose Alfredo Flores, 23, of Wilmington, is accused of thefts at DCH Toyota, police said.

    Flores stole a Toyota Prius Tuesday from DCH and since Aug. 13 has also stolen two other trucks that were brought to the dealership for routine services, police said.

    A Toyota Tacoma belonging to Kim Levine and an FJ Cruiser were stolen last week.

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    Each theft occured during business hours.

    DCH general manager Chris Hunter says the dealership developed information that Flores might be a suspect because he worked there months ago as a porter for a company who's contract ended in January.

    DCH is conducting a review of its vendor's hiring practices, Hunter said.

    "Outside vendors, they may have different protocal and we want to see what protocals they do have so we can make sure they fall within our guidelines as well," he said. "So we're going to be working on that with corporate and we'll get this figured out so we can protect our investments."

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    Levine's truck has not been found. But a third vehicle that police have described only as a Dodge has been found and may been stolen from another dealership.

    Detectives are reviewing reports from every dealership Flores may have worked at as a porter.

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