Monterey County

Multi-million dollar cars draw tighter security for Monterey Car Week

Security up at car week following last year's thefts.

MONTEREY, Calif. - Armed guards and a undercover security are patrolling the Monterey Peninsula as cars worth millions of dollars are making an appearance for this year's Car Week.  Security is tight because there is a lot at stake for the auction companies.

Monterey police said that last year, a 1961 Chevy Impala Super Sport was stolen right off the Russo and Steele auction lot near Fisherman's Wharf. It was one of four stolen last year. 

That's why auction houses said they're taking a few extra steps to avoid a repeat. 

"The value of the number of cars that are here is substantial," said  RM Auctions Vice President Alain Squindo. "In the hundreds of millions of dollars, not just in our auction room,  but all auction rooms and concourse on the Peninsula."

Squindo said the company pulls out all the stops to ensure these cars are kept safe from start to finish.

"Also all the things these cars come with -- be it documentation, original spares, those things are under lock and key in our offices as well," Squindo said.

With thousands of people expected to be in this room all at the same time, security is a top priority.  This year, Russo and Steele says it has armed and unarmed guards, marked and unmarked guards, patrolling the grounds around the clock.  The Gooding & Company Auction at Pebble Beach keeps its security looking like they fit in with the crowd.  But don't be fooled -  these guys are able to communicate with one another and keep a close eye on each car. 

Squindo said RM Auctions also takes steps to protect financial information.

"Any personal data that we exchange with our clients, is also protected," Squindo said. "We actually have five IT professionals that come out from our head offices to handle all of that."

Local law enforcement also plays a major role in making sure these events are safe and secure.

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