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Aug 07,2007
Nine arrested in D.C.-area car theft ring
by UPI

WASHINGTON -- Nine people were arrested in the Washington area in connection with a luxury car theft ring that exports the vehicles to the Middle East and West Africa.

There are 16 law enforcement agencies working on cracking the ring, and on Monday, state and local police in Maryland raided three homes in the latest part of the investigation, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Investigators said more than 1,000 high-value vehicles have been stolen from car dealerships, carjacked or taken from driveways in New York, New Jersey and Washington. They were then loaded into shipping containers and shipped from New Jersey ports to West Africa and the Middle East, police said.

"This is the largest auto-theft fencing ring I've seen since I've been on the force," said Lt. Rick Nuel, chief of the auto unit with the New Jersey State Police. "When you're looking at the amount of cars going out and the amount of contacts they had, it's huge."

Nuel told the Post more arrests are expected related to the thefts.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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