Car theft is an all too common crime as the FBI estimates that 721,885 motor vehicles were stolen in the United States in 2019.
However, a case in California is raising eyebrows as authorities recovered approximately 35 luxury vehicles that had been “fraudulently purchased from unsuspecting local dealerships.”
According to the California Highway Patrol, the raid followed a two-month investigation into the theft of a “large volume of luxury vehicles.” Authorities didn’t go into many specifics, but noted a search warrant was served in the San Fernando Valley last week and this lead to the recovery of multiple stolen vehicles including an Aston Martin Vantage, a Bentley Continental GT, and Corvette C8.
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Pictures also showed an assortment of Mercedes crossovers and what appears to be a BMW 8-Series Coupe. The California Highway Patrol didn’t release a full list, but noted other recovered vehicles came from brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, and Porsche. They also estimated the total value of the vehicles recovered to be approximately $2.3 (£1.8 / €2.1) million.
The investigation is ongoing, but the search resulted in one arrest, the seizure of a firearm, and the discovery of an indoor marijuana grow operation with “well over 400 plants.” As police noted, “Vehicle theft suspects are frequently involved in other criminal behavior, including weapons possession, narcotics trafficking, and other violent crimes that impact the community.”
While details are limited, the Los Angeles Times reported the vehicles were located in a Van Nuys backyard and the person arrested was 39-year-old Vage Chavushyan for being a felon in possession of a firearm.