Business has been good for used-car salesman Carl Moore, thanks, in part, to record-high auto theft in Baltimore.

The rash of crime is not only leading more customers to Moore, but it’s also bringing former customers back much sooner than expected.

Moore, 71, recently had a repeat customer after thieves stole her used Hyundai just weeks after she bought it from him at Dynamic Cars on Howard Street. He said this customer, like many others in recent months, is frustrated and confused.

“They can’t get their heads wrapped around it either — what’s going on,” Moore said of his customers.

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This story is part of a deep dive on auto thefts.

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And Moore can’t quite make sense of it himself. Sure, in his 30 years as a car salesman, he’s used to thieves swiping cars that have strong resale value or are carelessly locked.

But that’s nothing compared to what he’s been seeing now with Kias and Hyundais.

While his dealership hasn’t had any thefts, he encounters the residual effects all the time: Hyundais and Kias up for auction, ignitions visibly ripped out. New buyers frequenting the lot looking for inexpensive used cars after theirs have been stolen.

Surprisingly, customers still want to buy Kias and Hyundais.

Why?

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It’s simple, Moore says. They’re “nice-looking” affordable cars with decent warranties.

Maybe they lack engine immobilizers, but, to Moore, there are so many other things those models have to offer.

“They’re on the move,” Moore said of Kias and Hyundais.

Off the lot — and from where you left them.

brenna.smith@thebaltimorebanner.com

Brenna Smith is an investigative reporter for the Baltimore Banner.

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