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FBI Breaks Up One of the Largest Car Theft Rings in U.S. History

Some recoverd stolen car/fbi photo

Some recoverd stolen cars/fbi photo

The Big 3 auto companies may have problems selling cars, but apparently this stolen car ring did not.

By CNN
TAMPA — There’s probably no way to describe the feeling. Joe Pirrone’s pride and joy, his F350 Super Duty turbo diesel truck, turned out to be a stolen “clone.”

Joe Pirrone’s pride and joy, his F350 Super Duty turbo diesel truck, turned out to be a stolen “clone.”

One moment, Guiseppe “Joe” Pirrone was on a long weekend at the beach.

The next moment, he found out the pickup that he bought a year ago is stolen, and he is still on the hook for the $27,000 loan.

Stories like Pirrone’s are scattered across the country, and Tuesday the FBI announced that it has broken up one of the largest auto theft cases in the U.S.

Capping “Operation Dual Identity,” arrest warrants for 17 people were executed in Tampa and Miami, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; and in Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico. The suspects were accused of “cloning” vehicles, which is making stolen cars look like legal ones.

The FBI says that the ring was operating in the U.S. for more than 20 years. More than 1,000 vehicles were stolen in Florida, with more than $25 million in losses to consumers and banks.
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