And more charges might be coming.
Eleven men have been indicted for allegedly stealing 86 cars from 26 dealerships across the northeastern Ohio. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley told local media during a press conference the estimated value of the vehicles stolen was $5.1 million, a considerable sum.
Find out how government incompetence kept a Chevy Nova from its rightful owner for 13 years here.
All 11 men are between 18 and 22 years-old, a common trend we see with this crime. Often theft rings will recruit minors as young as 10 to steal cars, knowing they’ll face few if any consequences when caught. Only 9 of the men in this case have been arrested with the last 2 still on the run.
More charges might be coming in the near future. O’Malley said there are about 40 more cars that were stolen which law enforcement is working to connect to these 11 men.
The thefts allegedly took place over the space of just 5 months. Instead of focusing on Kia and Hyundai dealerships, O’Malley said they singled out high-end establishments with more valuable rides ready to swipe.
What’s truly interesting about this case is a 142-count RICO case is included in the indictment, something we haven’t seen too much when prosecutors have gone after car thieves. Considering these types of thefts are absolutely organized crime perhaps that will change.
Dealerships have been favorite soft targets of many car thieves in the past few years. The most common tactic is to break in during the middle of the night when nobody is there, bust out the keys from wherever they’re stored, then shop for the most expensive vehicles in the showroom and on the lot. Law enforcement understandably is sick of this trend and we’re starting to see signs in some areas that the gloves are coming off, at least a little.