North Haven police have arrested a man, two and a half years after he allegedly stole an expensive BMW by swapping out keys with lookalikes, police said.
Police said a $50,000 BMW was taken from the parking lot of a dealership on Washington Avenue on a night in August 2012.
As police investigated, they determined that a man, later identified as Michael Quezada, 24, of North Bergen New Jersey, had visited the dealership the night before the car was taken.
As he was looking over the vehicle with the sales associate, he was somehow able to exchange the BMW’s key with one that looked similar, returned after the dealership closed and drove away with the vehicle, police said.
Police said Quezada left the state in the car and was taken into custody in Pennsylvania, where he had also been charged with larceny.
The Times Leader newspaper last year reported that Quezada was suspected of being involved in a high-end car theft ring after expensive BMW’s were stolen from dealerships in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
In the Pennsylvania cases, the suspects provided fake addresses and phone numbers, the Times Leader reported and took the BMW key from the salesman as he was getting a CarFax report.
Investigators brought Quezada back to North Haven on February 19, 2014 and charged him with first-degree larceny.
He was released on a $50,000 court-set bond and is scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court on March 16, 2014.
In December, police in New York arrested 18 people in connection with an elaborate luxury car theft ring operating in Connecticut, New york and New Jersey.