Task force busts high-end vehicle theft ring in Ariz.Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX – Authorities have arrested two people after busting a high-end vehicle theft ring, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
SWAT teams with the Goodyear Police Department and DPS, along with detectives from the Arizona Vehicle Theft Task Force, served three search warrants early Wednesday morning, netting 16 vehicles valued at more than $400,000 and the arrest of two suspects.
For the last six months, the task force and Goodyear police have been investigating a group that was carjacking high-end vehicles in Mexico, switching the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) and importing them into the United States for profit.
The organization is believed to have stolen over 100 vehicles since starting its operation. Law enforcement officials said the group would import the stolen cars, drive them for a short period of time and then sell or trade them.
The search warrants were served at homes near Sarival Avenue and McDowell Road in Goodyear, 75th Avenue and Osborn Road in Phoenix, and 47th Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Glendale.
The main suspect was arrested at his home in Goodyear. According to DPS, the 28-year-old Mexican national has been living in the United States illegally and has been deported more than once.
Twelve more vehicles were seized at other locations in Glendale and Phoenix.
Stolen vehicles recovered:
2014 BMW X5 M Series
2013 Ford Explorer
2011 Toyota Sienna
2010 Dodge Ram
2003 Ford Mustang, Saleen
2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2011 Chevrolet Camaro
2013 Toyota Land Cruiser
2001 Chevrolet Tahoe
2002 Chevrolet Silverado
1989 Ford Mustang 5.0
2007 Chevrolet Tahoe
2000 Chevrolet Tahoe
2007 Volkswagen Jetta
1998 Yamaha quad