Police Found $2.3 Million Worth of Stolen Luxury Cars in Someone’s Backyard

Police have recovered more than $2 million worth of fraudulently purchased luxury cars from a California property.
Written by Andrew Kidd
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Authorities have recovered a cache of
stolen luxury cars
worth $2.3 million from a Southern California backyard.
The California Highway Patrol Southern Division
posted on Facebook
that its vehicle theft unit found and recovered 35 stolen luxury vehicles from a San Fernando Valley property March 24, 2022.

A stolen luxury car collection

The makes of the recovered vehicles included Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes and Porsche. The total value recovered was around $2.3 million.
The recovery followed a two-month investigation into the vehicles, which were “fraudulently purchased,” per authorities. As
Motor1.com
reports, the investigation is ongoing and a lot of details are missing—including how one “fraudulently purchases” a vehicle to begin with. 
Police also haven’t released the number or location of sellers targeted, but that information will likely surface in the weeks and months to come.
Police have arrested one suspect, per the Facebook post, and have asked the community to come forward if residents have information about—or if they were victims themselves of—similar vehicle thefts.
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Multiple streams of illicit income

Police also seized a firearm from the property and discovered an indoor marijuana grow operation of more than 400 plants. Firearms and marijuana still don’t mix, according to
federal law
. Tack that to the offense of “fraudulently” purchasing a couple million bucks’ worth of cars and the perpetrator(s) can expect some serious charges coming their way.

Fraudulent vehicle purchases

Buying or selling a car illicitly is nothing new, but usually it’s the sellers you have to worry about. Scammers have long been using
online resources
like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to offer deals on cars that are too good to be true; in most cases, the sellers don’t even have the car in their possession that they’re trying to sell.
In one of the strangest seller theft cases to come out of the Midwest,
Fox 2
reports that at least 30 victims in the Detroit area were targeted by a former car salesman in a scam involving the fraudulent return and sale of leased cars.
The perpetrator would pose as a salesman of his former employer, offering lease pull aheads to collect his victims’ cars, which he would then sell. He would then sell them a new car, sign paperwork in their names and “waive” the first three months’ payments. Victims only found out they were scammed when hit with the late payment notices from the dealership.
Car buyers can be shady, too. Two Detroit men were caught attempting to purchase an SUV from a dealership with fraudulent identification in 2021. As
WWJ
reports, deputies busted the men after a resident of a neighboring suburb reported receiving a finance package from a dealership for a Dodge Durango they didn’t purchase. 
MORE: Car Theft Is Decreasing but Still Accounts for $6.4 Billion in Losses

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