4 arrested in Phoenix in stolen vehicles scheme totaling over $1 million

Oct 12, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: 2:15 pm

PHOENIX — Four suspects were arrested for their roles in a stolen vehicle ring totaling over $1 million, authorities announced Wednesday.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Vehicle Theft Task Force spent five months investigating the scheme, which centered around the suspects buying stolen vehicles with fake VIN numbers from a theft ring on the East Coast and shipping them to Arizona to be sold.

Three suspects were arrested for their roles in the ploy: 33-year-old Rickey Austin, 33-year-old Tyquan Jackson Wilson and 35-year-old Joshua Carra. They face charges of theft of means of transportation, trafficking stolen property, conspiracy and fraudulent schemes.

A fourth suspect, 24-year-old Dayanella Galdos Abarca, was arrested on charges related to conspiracy and fraudulent schemes. Abarca was an employee at a third-party Motor Vehicle Division service provider.

How did the suspects allegedly run the stolen vehicle scheme?

Once the vehicles arrived in Arizona, the suspects were said to use fake out-of-state titles to sell them to buyers at well below market value.

Authorities recovered 19 stolen vehicles, valued at about $1.2 million.

The vehicles included a Ferrari California, Mercedes-Benz AMG SUV, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and several Dodge sports cars and pickup trucks.

What else was recovered from the suspects?

Other investigations were opened as a result of the case, leading authorities to recover drugs and weapons.

Here’s what they seized:

  • 13 pounds of cocaine
  • 4 pounds of Adderall
  • 20,000 fentanyl pills
  • 10.5 ounces of MDMA
  • 18.1 ounces of Xanax
  • 1.82 pounds of illegal mushrooms
  • 15.4 ounces of methamphetamine
  • $110,000 in cash
  • Several firearms

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4 arrested in Phoenix in stolen vehicles scheme totaling over $1 million