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Police arrest men suspected of stealing tires

August 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two men suspected of targeting newer, high end cars for their tires and rims are behind bars. They're set to be arraigned this week for stealing the merchandise and then selling it on two popular Web sites.Caught in the act. Surveillance pictures showed two men stealing expensive rims off of a new model Mercedes Benz.

Police believe since May these suspects have been stealing hundreds of tires and rims off of cars in the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey.

"They would have all four tires off of the car, the car up on blocks and they would be out of there in three to five minutes," said Captain Kelly Muldorfer, LAPD.

Using pictures police last week were able to identify and arrest 20-year-old Arsen Ovsepyan and 18-year-old Vasiliy Polyak.

They've been charged with 18 counts of burglary and grand theft auto.

They also recovered the 200 tires and rims the two stole off of new model BMW and Mercedes vehicles. Police say the suspects were selling the items on the Internet.

"Originally they were sold on Craigslist for between maybe $200 to $1200 then resold again on eBay for between $800 and $2,500," said Captain Muldorfer.

Police say selling stolen property online is a growing trend and everyone should be cautious. In this case tires and rims worth thousands of dollars were being sold at a fraction of the price.

"It is imperative for the public to know when buying items online from any of these Internet sites if the prices seems too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true," said Commander Harlan Ward, LAPD.

Police say people knowingly buying stolen property online are also committing a crime. Which is why Los Angeles authorities are now cracking down -- looking for suspects on both ends of these illegal transactions.

"We want people to think twice before they buy something from an anonymous source on the Internet. Though those low prices have a great appeal we saw today that these products from an unreliable vendor may in fact be stolen," said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Wendy Gruel.

Some ways police say people can protect themselves from buying stolen items off the Internet is by always comparing the original price of the product with the listed price. If there's too much of a difference you can assume it was stolen.

Also if you want keep track of your own belongings, police say always put an identifying mark on them so that if they are stolen they can easily be recognized if they are re-sold on the Internet.

 

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