GEAUGA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – Authorities in Geauga County are trying to identify a team of thieves who stole three high-performance vehicles from a local car dealership. 

It was just after 2 a.m. on Monday when a Chester Township police officer spotted three vehicles that had just been stolen from the dealership barreling toward him on Mayfield Road.

The officer turned around and began pursuit, but the stolen vehicles are equipped with high-performance engines. The thieves accelerated to dangerously high speeds on the two-lane road.

Eventually, the officer had no choice but to terminate the pursuit.

“Getting to those kind of speeds is dangerous. You don’t want to take any chances and, you know, we’ve got to be cautious with everything that we do, and to be honest, I don’t think those police cars could even match the speed of those vehicles that were taken. Those were high-end, 200 mile an hour vehicles,” said Chief Deputy Tom Rowan with the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office.

The story began to unfold just minutes earlier when a driver passing the Junction Auto Family dealership outside Chardon noticed some unusual activity.

The witness told a dispatcher, “I’m by Junction Auto and there’s somebody running around in there, and somebody’s got a car started in there. The lights are on.”

Authorities say the team of thieves broke into the Junction showroom and started up a white Dodge Challenger Scatback valued at $56,000, a gray Dodge Challenger Hellcat valued at $72,000 and a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk valued at $90,000.

They then forced open the large front doors to the showroom, drove the vehicles outside and sped away.

The witness was amazed by what he saw.

“I’m telling you, they’re going 150 miles an hour,” he told the dispatcher. “It’s crazy, they’re headed for Chesterland.”

Investigators say it appears thieves had a shopping list for the high-performance, high-end vehicles, but they’re not sure if they found them online or paid an earlier visit to the showroom.

Based on how they worked in tandem and how quickly they carried out the heist, there’s a possibility the suspects are part of an organized gang that has been targeting Dodge and Jeep models equipped with high-power engines like the Hemi.

“Not a lot of dealers carry those high end vehicles like that or if they do, it’s usually only one or two. So, that’s why we’re checking with all the other Dodge and Jeep dealers in the area, to see if anybody that has those, if they’ve experienced any thefts,” Chief Deputy Rowan said.