Sticker shock

Published 10:07 am Friday, January 27, 2012

Blake Blythe, owner of Blake Ford, stands next a van that was broken into on Wednesday evening. The inspection sticker was stolen from the van and three additional news vehicles. -- GWEN ALBERS | TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—More than $5,000 in damages were done to four new vehicles outside a Franklin car dealership after they were broken into for their inspection stickers.

Police and a spokesman for Blake Ford believe the stickers, which are good through January 2013, were stolen by someone who hopes to profit from them.

“They will take the stickers (and sell them),” said General Manager Jimmy Pope. “Say you need to spend $1,000 to get (your vehicle to pass inspection). They will sell the stickers for $50 and you’re good for a year.”

Office manager Peggy Gray discovered the damaged vehicles when she and a co-worker returned to the dealership on Wednesday evening. It’s believed the vehicles were broken into between 6:15 and 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Gray said.

Driver’s side windows were smashed out of a 2012 Ford Focus, 2012 Ford Escape and 2012 F-250 pickup. A rear window also was broken out of a 2011 Ford E-150 van. A door was bent on one of the vehicles, said dealership owner Blake Blythe.

Once inside the suspect or suspects scraped the stickers off the inside windshields.

Franklin Police Lt. Kenny Barham said police have no suspects, and the Ford dealership appears to be the only victim.

Barham noted that a thief also may take an inspection sticker for himself.

“Say their car doesn’t pass inspection,” he said. “They would put it on their car and they don’t have to pay the shop for a rejection sticker.”