The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Auto Theft Unit announces major arrests in a sophisticated theft ring.
The arrests were part of two-year investigation known as “Operation Slingshot.”
Investigators said the ring was responsible for stealing vehicles from dealerships and then reselling them on social media and Craigslist.
More than $1 million dollars worth of damages have been reported.
HCSO said this type of crime was unique and difficult to track, because the person selling the car online was not the same person that stole the car.
Nine suspects were linked to the theft ring.
On August 4, arrest warrants were executed and eight of the nine suspects were arrested.
One man is still wanted for his role in the auto theft ring.
Investigators carried out undercover stings in order to identify the individuals involved.
All of the vehicles were GM models.
HCSO said new immigrants were targeted as buyers of the stolen vehicles because the suspects believed they would be less likely to report a crime.
Investigators warn to never make major purchases directly from social media. If you are going to purchase a vehicle via social media, do it at the courthouse or tax office with the seller to ensure that the transaction is legitimate.