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Illinois Police Discover Massive Auto Theft Ring

August 1st, 2012 at 12:00 pm

According to an article by the Chicago Tribune, authorities in Illinois reported on Monday July 30th that they broke up a large theft ring.  This ring was responsible for the theft of over 200 high end vehicles worth nearly $2.5 million.  The group targeted luxury cars such as Cadillacs, BMWs, Land Rovers and Mercedes, which they sold for a small percentage of their value on websites such as Craigslist.

A total of 21 people have been arrested to this point in time.  They live primarily on the South Side of Chicago and in the south suburbs and some are related to each other.  A ringleader of the group named Dominique Henley was convicted of identity theft, forgery, theft by deception and aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle.  He was sentenced to eight years in jail.  His father was also arrested but was only sentenced to serve 30 months of probation.

The thieves would dress up as transport workers to pick up new cars from dealerships in Cook, DuPage, Will and Lake Counties.  Often these robbers, some of whom were licensed to transport cars for dealerships, would load up a trailer with up to eight cars.   Another scam involved using a stolen social security number to buy a car on credit.  Then they would swap the vehicle identification numbers for the same make and model cars from Canada.  With that new information, they would draft the fraudulent documents necessary to transfer the title to Illinois.  The quality of paper used for the foreign titles is what initiated the 10 month investigation.

Authorities have noted that auto theft has become more and more sophisticated.  This ring involved not just the theft of vehicles but fraudulent activities such as identity theft, forgery and loan fraud.  As crimes are becoming more intricate, the laws and agencies that police them follow suit.  If you have been accused of white collar crimes or thefts of property, please contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Chicago today.

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