Offbeat

Stolen Luxury Cars Caught Leaving L.A. for Asia

Think they're expensive in the U.S? They go for two or three times this amount in Asia.

Normally when a car is stolen, you wouldn't think that it would be shipped all the way overseas where it can be sold for two or even three times its U.S. value. That's exactly what was about to happen in a story that's just come to light. Apparently, there was a car theft ring in Los Angeles that stole luxury cars and SUVs by using fake identities in order to either lease or agree to buy them from local dealers. Not only was this car theft, but they also defrauded those dealers, lenders and insurance companies.

The cars, which included BMW and Mercedes SUVs, an Audi Quattro, a few Lexus models, and even a Ferrari 458 Italia, were actually packed and loaded onto a ship bound for Asia. In order to hide them from port officials during inspections, the containers they were placed in were labeled as 'used exercise equipment.' They almost got away with the whole thing, except they didn't realize the Ferrari had a GPS tracking device installed. When the dealer realized the car had actually been stolen, they tracked the car's location and alerted the authorities.

The ship had already left port bound for Hong Kong and Vietnam when it was ordered to turn back. So far no arrests have been made, but it's only a matter of time until U.S. customs tracks down the ring's operators.

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