Cops: Thieves Who Stole Cars from BMW of Darien Now Busted

Seven of eight vehicles stolen from BMW of Darien in August 2012 by a professional car theft ring have been recovered and the ring busted, police say.

Police say a ring of car thieves who stole eight vehicles from BMW of Darien in August 2012 has been busted with multiple arrests by the New York City Police Department, in co-operation with Darien police.

The thieves stole and then sold $2.4 million worth of luxury cars -- at least 48, according to a news release from Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. That includes eight from the Darien heist, according to Darien police. Seven of the eight vehicles stolen here were recovered.

"Darien Police were able to collect evidence from vehicles, which were recovered in Queens, and have sent the evidence to the State Lab for examination and are awaiting results," the Darien news release said (see the full news release at the bottom of this article).

Eighteen arrests were made in connection with the investigation, and defendants appeared in a New York state court in Queens earlier this week, according to the Queens news release, issued on Wednesday. None of those arrested is from Connecticut, and all but one defendant (who is from New Jersey) are residents of various boroughs in New York City.

The thieves stole from automobile dealerships in New York state, New Jersey and Connecticut, according to the Queens news release.

"The defendants are accused of stealing and then “tagging” the cars -- essentially changing the vehicle identification (VIN) number and registering them with “washed” titles -- and then using “brokers” to sell them– even taking orders for certain makes and models to be stolen," the Queens news release said.

The Queens news release also said:

"The majority of the vehicles are each valued in excess of $50,000 and some are valued at over $100,000. In fact, it is alleged that during the course of the investigation it was learned that during one heist [defendant Emmanuel] Mateo [age 35, of the Bronx] stole nine vehicles worth approximately $750,000.

"In addition to the arrests, court-authorized search warrants were executed at various locations. Among the items seized were approximately $214,193 in cash and bank accounts, a 2004 Lamborghini,a 2012 Mercedes Benz and a Breitling watch."

Here's the Darien Police news release:

Authorities in New York have charged 18 people for their roles in a theft ring that resold stolen luxury cars worth $2.4 million. Eight of those vehicles were stolen from BMW of Darien in August of 2012.  The Darien Police were able to recover 7 of the 8 stolen vehicles, prior to them being resold, with the assistance of NYPD.

The Darien Police had cooperated in the investigation with the New York Police Department Auto Theft Unit since August, 2012.  The lengthy investigation targeted the individuals arrested.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced the charges Wednesday following an 18-month investigation by police and other investigators.

He said the suspects stole the cars, changed the vehicle identification numbers, registered them with forged titles and used brokers to resell the stolen rides.

Brown said they're charged with enterprise corruption, grand larceny, forgery and other crimes. Three others also face drug charges.

Brown said many of the cars were stolen from dealerships in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.  

The Darien Police were able to collect evidence from vehicles, which were recovered in Queens, and have sent the evidence to the State Lab for examination and are awaiting results.


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