Monday, December 21, 2009

International Car Thieves In Our Midst?

From HoCo police:

Howard County police have charged three men with auto theft of three vehicles, including a Bentley convertible worth $150,000.

Police received a tip on Tuesday that a number of stolen vehicles were being packaged into a container in the county for suspected shipping overseas. The tip led police to Ellis Wise Junkyard in the 12000 block of Hall Shop Road in Clarksville, where police covertly observed three vehicles being loaded into a shipping container. Police confirmed the vehicles were stolen as they maintained surveillance of the site.

Detectives observed a semi-truck loaded with the container leaving the junkyard, followed by a Toyota Echo with two occupants who had been observed loading the vehicles into the container, and initiated a traffic stop of both vehicles.

Based on additional evidence obtained during the traffic stop, police arrested the three men and obtained a search and seizure warrant for the container.

Inside the container were a 2007 Bentley convertible stolen from Florida on Dec. 15, valued at $150,000; a 2008 Toyota Highlander stolen from Washington, D.C., on Dec. 13 in an armed carjacking, valued at $25,000; and a 2005 BMW 330, stolen from another county in Maryland on Dec. 13, valued at $20,000.

Police also discovered the Toyota being driven by the suspects was displaying tags from the BMW 330.

The driver of the semi-truck, Nam V. Nguyen, 51, of Hyattsville, the driver of the Toyota, Edward K. Aboagye, 28, of Laurel, and the passenger of the Toyota, Sean E. Brown, 38, of Douglassville, Ga., were subsequently charged. The men face three theft charges, including theft of $100,000 or more, and three counts of motor vehicle theft.

All three suspects were released from Howard County Detention Center on Wednesday on $7,500 unsecured bonds.

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