CLEVELAND,OH - Police in Cleveland have obtained dozens of warrants in what theyâ€™re calling the largest grand theft auto ring bust in the history of the city.
The raid includes 35 warrants for arrests so far Tuesday morning, and police said the ring expands into multiple cities.
Right now, officers are raiding a chop house on the west side. Officers there are taking out cars, blow torches, air compressors, tools and other items.
The raids are continuing throughout the greater Cleveland area, with Cleveland police, FBI SWAT team, Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol currently working on the busts. So far, police raided six different operations.
NewsChannel5â€™s Paul Kiska is at the scene and reports that neighbors were clapping and cheering on police during at least one of the raids.
A police source told Kiska that a woman who was wanted in connection with the raid was arrested at the Charlotte airport after getting on a flight in Cleveland that was headed to Puerto Rico.
The raids took place at several locations throughout the greater Cleveland area, with Cleveland police, FBI SWAT team, Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol working on the 18-month investigation. Police raided at least six different operations.
Investigators will address the raids during a press conference at 2:30 at the Justice Center.
According to investigators, those involved in the ring would purchase old cars for about $800-1,000, and then replace the parts in that car with parts from newer stolen cars. They would use the body and VIN number of the older models, combined with parts from new models. By selling old cars with refurbished parts on Craigslist, they could turn a profit.
Most of the stolen cars were Hondas because parts are interchangeable, investigators said.
Pics and updates here:
26 arrested so far, lets get these other 9!