** FILE ** The company logo shines off the grille of an unsold 2007 Tacoma pickup truck on the lot of a Toyota dealership in the southeast Denver suburb of Centennial, Colo., in a file photo from Nov. 5, 2006. A leaked copy of Toyota Motor Corp.'s "global master plan" calls for grabbing 15 percent of the world car market by 2010 in the company's quest to unseat rival General Motors, a newspaper said Monday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
17 people, including two who worked in Connecticut, have been arrested in what authorities are calling a car theft ring of breathtaking size and scope.
The thieves would take orders for Toyotas and high end luxury cars, then scope out cars that met the desired specs including the color of and amenities inside the vehicles, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said.
Cars were stolen off the street, from parking garages, and dealerships from Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.
Reynaldo Colon, 28, and Danny Duran, 29, who worked at Toyota dealerships in Connecticut and New Jersey allegedly handed over special keys to others in the theft ring, the paper reported. The men would then use laptop computers to sync the key to reprogram the entry systems for the stolen cars.
False paperwork and identification numbers made it easier for them to sell the stolen cars in states as far away as Texas. Others were shipped outside of the U.S.
So far 99 cars and SUVs have been recovered, though as many as 500 vehicles may have been stolen.