San Diego Police have broken up a theft ring they allege was responsible for over the thefts of over 150 Jeep Wranglers since 2014.
Three people were arrested in connection with the crimes, all of whom are members of the ‘Hooligan’ motorcycle gang. The accused are said to have first stolen the vehicles before exporting them to Mexico for sale or to be disassembled and parted out.
As reported by The Drive, the thieves would target individuals days in advance, recording a vehicle’s VIN number before later returning with a duplicate key, programming it once inside the vehicle and driving off.
A suspect was seen entering the vehicle with a key in security footage obtained by police, however, leading them to nearby Fiat Chrysler dealers where they asked if anyone besides the owner of vehicles had come in asking for duplicate keys. They then realized list of 20 stolen Jeeps they were tracking had all had duplicate keys requested for them by someone at a dealer in Mexico.
Police eventually connected the pieces of the puzzle and took the accused into custody. If you’re Jeep Wrangler was stolen in the San Diego area in the past two years or so, police may have tracked down the culprits..