Dealerships damaged in car theft attempt in SW Philly

SOUTHWEST PHILADELPHIA -- Would-be car thieves left behind a path of destruction at two car dealerships in Southwest Philadelphia.

Both incidents happened on Essington Avenue early Friday morning.

Surveillance video shows one of the suspects casing out Corvettes inside Chapman Chevrolet, after shattering a window with a tire iron to get inside.

Police say it appears he looks for vehicle keys to steal, and, at one point, he motions for someone outside.

The video later shows a police K-9 unit arriving.

By then, investigators believe, the culprits headed down Essington Avenue to Family Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram.

Police believe a stolen Ford Fusion was used as a battering ram to break the dealership's steel fence. The suspects broke through a side glass door to gain access to the service area.

There they found a minivan with keys in the ignition. They started the vehicle and tried to drive through a wall, but the van broke down.

The suspects fled leaving both vehicles behind.

Police say they only made off with a set of keys.

In addition, police think the suspects may have rear-ended a car on Chapman's lot to try and create an opening for the cars they hoped to steal.

Chapman employees would not talk on camera, but said the would-be burglar walked right by the Fiat that Pope Francis used during his visit to Philadelphia.

Also according to Chapman employees, the tire iron used to break the glass was apparently left behind.