A joint operation by state and federal authorities prevented 160 stolen vehicles from being shipped to West Africa. But that number might just be a fraction of the cars taken in a massive carjacking operation in New York and New Jersey.
A 10-month investigation led to 23 suspects arrested and 6 more facing charges. Of the 160 vehicles recovered mostly from ports in Newark and Staten Island, 27 are believed to have come from carjackings. In total, the vehicles are valued at more than $8 million.
Authorities say the ring went after luxury vehicles and paid carjackers $4,000-$8,000 per car. The thieves would trick people by causing small accidents and stealing the cars once the driver pulled over. They'd also snag running cars from airports and car washes, and rob valets. The streets will never be completely safe, but it feels great knowing these guys are out of commission.