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Rise in targeting vehicles from local auto shops, dealerships in West Seneca

“People are starting to feel unsafe in West Seneca, and we have not had never had this feeling before."
Posted at 6:13 PM, Jul 19, 2022

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Several local auto shop owners are fed up with being victims of thefts targeting cars and stealing pricey car parts.

West Seneca Police say they’ve tried to apprehend the people responsible for the recurring crimes, but chasing after them can quickly become dangerous and put the community’s safety at risk.

Patrick Krempholtz of Don & Jim’s Auto Service Center says several vehicles were stolen recently in Hamburg from a West Herr dealership, and what happened there has a connection to what happened to his shop.

“The latest incident was Catalytic converters where they had a stolen car and plates from West Herr,” Krempholtz says. “They came and stole converters and fled and could not be pursued.”

Krempholtz believes the police are doing the best they can.

“They know the business owners in town, and they feel bad about it. It’s just kind of like their hands are tied,” he says.

Krempholtz did get his trailer back, but he believes these perpetrators are professionals.

“When they returned, as they pulled up, the cameras were jammed, and when they left the cameras were unjammed so we couldn’t see them delivering the trailer,” he says.

The auto shop owner says he has lost roughly $5,000 but fears his community is losing something even greater.

“People are starting to feel unsafe in West Seneca, and we have not had never had this feeling before,” Krempholtz says.

West Seneca Police are still investigating this incident and several other related incidents.