Auto theft and export ring exposed
New Jersey State Police said eight people have been served with arrest warrants in New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Virginia after a three-month investigation into the theft and exporting of vehicles.
State troopers said “Operation Auto Export” had identified 72 high-end vehicles with a value of more than $2.5 million.
“These were not old-fashioned car thieves, chopping cars for parts. This was big business, with the thieves stealing high-end cars and shipping them overseas,” said New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram.
Col. Rick Fuentes of the state police said the thieves “stole rental cars, utilized document fraud and even resorted to armed carjacking to feed their client’s appetite for stolen luxury vehicles.”
The police said cars were shipped through terminals in Newark and Elizabeth to Greece, Jordan, Egypt, and various countries in West Africa.
They said vehicles being shipped overseas would sell for substantially higher prices, almost double, the manufacturers’ market value in the United States.