Probe of Las Vegas car theft ring leads to nearly 30 arrests, some in California

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Capt. Shane Womack announces the arrests of 28 suspects in connection with a Las Vegas-area car theft ring on June 21, 2021. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

Capt. Shane Womack announces the arrests of 28 suspects in connection with a Las Vegas-area car theft ring on June 21, 2021. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

Authorities have arrested nearly 30 people in connection with a Las Vegas-area car theft ring.

Las Vegas police said Monday that most of the 28 people arrested were in Nevada and the rest were detained in California and Arizona.

Capt. Shane Womack said a task force comprised of state and local law enforcement began investigating last year a car theft operation involving the swapping of vehicle identification numbers.

Police say the suspects created fake VIN plates and door stickers that appeared authentic.

Investigators have since recovered 19 stolen cars. They also found seven firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition and illegal drugs, including 2,500 fentanyl pills.

The arrests are expected to lead to more than 150 felony charges. They include operating a chop shop, possession of a stolen vehicle and trafficking controlled substances.

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