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Police break up stolen auto parts ring in Michigan

Several people, including a Detroit, Michigan, business owner, could soon be facing charges in connection with a stolen auto-parts operation. Police say they have been investigating the alleged fraud and theft for about a year, and four people were arrested during the course of the investigation.

The Special Investigations Unit from the Troy, Michigan, police department arrested several people last month in connection with the alleged criminal enterprise. Detectives and investigators from several local law enforcement offices, including those in Grosse Pointe Park, Southfield and Detroit, recovered stolen property after executing search warrants.

Police say that the alleged enterprise entailed the theft of auto parts including wheels and tires, GPS units and center caps for wheels. According to the police, stolen parts were sold to people who would then sell the parts on online shopping sites and to auto parts stores. Additionally, insurance companies were allegedly fraudulently billed for the cost of replacement parts.

Although the operation was concentrated in the Metro Detroit area, parts that were allegedly fenced in the operation were shipped to other states and possibly even foreign countries. Police have recovered about 400 in-dash navigation systems and at least 5,000 center caps for wheels that were stolen. All told, they have recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in suspected stolen property.

While police have already announced the actions that have been taken so far, the people who may be accused in this case are still afforded due process and are entitled to defend themselves in a fair trial.

Source: The Detroit News, "Stolen auto-parts operation busted in Metro Detroit," Mike Martindale, Dec. 7, 2011

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