NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Six people have been arrested in connection to a large-scale car theft ring targeting high-end luxury vehicles in New York City for illegal shipment overseas.
The group stole 250 luxury models — including Mercedes, Range Rovers and BMWs — from across the metro area over a period of nineteen months, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
According to Glenn Sorge, of Homeland Security, the total value of the thefts amounts to around $16 million.
The cars were camouflaged and loaded onto shipping containers, bound largely for West African nations.
“Oftentimes they would be disguised using personal goods,” Sorge said.
The vehicles were often discovered once the containers went through an x-ray before they were searched.
There is a demand for luxury cars in West Africa, where they sell for three times the value. But new technology involving push-button starts and new key fobs makes hot-wiring newer cars virtually impossible, authorities said.
New Jersey authorities busted an international carjacking ring Oct. 28. Twenty-one people were charged in connection to the scheme.
The thieves mostly targeted luxury cars in suburban areas spanning Monmouth and Bergen Counties in New Jersey and Rockland County, in New York.
The ring was the second busted since attorney Dustin Friedland was carjacked and murdered at the Short Hills Mall almost two years ago.