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Officials: Theft Ring Stalked Luxury Car Owners In New York

Kelly and Schneiderman with one of the recovered luxury vehicles targeted in theft ring (credit: Juliet Papa/1010 WINS)

Kelly and Schneiderman with one of the recovered luxury vehicles targeted in theft ring (credit: Juliet Papa/1010 WINS)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Luxury car owners in New York City were “stalked” by thieves who were filling orders for buyers in Africa, authorities said.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced 14 arrests in the car theft investigation on Wednesday.

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports

The sophisticated international car theft ring stole more than 100 cars with a value of $4 million, authorities said.

“These were not random thefts, the cars were stolen to order,” Kelly said.

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The ring allegedly took orders for specific colors and models of Lexus sedans and other luxury vehicles from an international broker who then sold the vehicles to buyers in Nigeria and other African nations, authorities said.

Once an order was placed, the thieves would locate the vehicles on city streets and “stalk” the drivers until there was an opportune time to steal their cars, Schneiderman said.

In one incident, a woman took six minutes to drop off her child at school and came out to find her car gone, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports.

“This crew used the streets of New York as their own personal auto showroom,” Schneiderman said.

Williamsburg and Flushing were the hardest hit areas in the city.

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