Six charged in $3M NJ luxury car theft ring bust

Six people accused of being part of a car theft ring that stole over 30 luxury cars worth over $3M in New Jersey have been arrested and charged, according to state police. 

The New Jersey State Police say that they began investigating the thefts in May, and identified Giovanni Hernandez, 24, of Newark as a suspect linked to the theft of a BMW M8 and three Land Rover Range Rovers in Upper Freehold Township and Millstone Township. Hernandez was arrested in June.

As the investigation went on, detectives identified Carlos Sanchez, 23, of Newark as the leader of a car theft ring that operated all throughout New Jersey and even in New York. 

Authorities also identified James Lanier, 24, Solomon Mickens, 23, and Sadiq Griggs, 23, all of Newark, as members of the crime ring.

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Detectives found that the suspects were targeting residences while the victims were home and committing burglaries in an attempt to steal the cars. Once stolen, the cars would be taken to other locations where they were given fraudulent vehicle identification numbers to be re-titled and sold through an online marketplace. 

Sanchez and Mickens were arrested on November 17 and sized a 9mm handgun, a high-capacity magazine, key fobs, and electronic devices linked to the ring. Griggs and Lanier were later arrested in Newark.

Destiny Montalvo, 21, of Newark was also arrested and charged with conspiring to dispose of evidence. 

Sanchez, Lanier, Mickens, Griggs, and Hernandez have all been charged with theft with unlawful taking and conspiracy to commit theft. Sanchez was also charged with leading an auto theft network, Lanier was also charged with burglary, Hernandez was also charged with theft, burglary, and receiving stolen property. 

All the suspects are being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution pending a bail detention hearing.