Police bust ‘huge’ car theft ring in Louisville

Police bust ‘huge’ car theft ring in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A man believed to be involved in a string of auto thefts has been arrested.

Ariel R. Mayan, 19, of Louisville, is charged with 19 counts of theft by unlawful taking of an auto.

Mayan's arrest reports state the vehicles stolen included a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado valued at $40,000 and three of the other vehicles were worth more than $30,000 each. During his arraignment on Tuesday, prosecutors said the total value of the vehicles taken was more than $360,000.

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Louisville Metro Police Department Sgt. Steve Healey investigated the car theft ring. He said in total, 24 cars and several guns were stolen.

"It's pretty huge, especially for the individual that goes to work every day, comes out to go to work and their car is gone," Healey said.

Police have arrested Mayan and four juveniles as part of the thefts. Healey said a neighbor's video camera caught them trying different car door handles. Every car stolen was unlocked.

"Basically they would go into a subdivision and they would go through and check as many door handles as they possibly could," Healey said. "That's the biggest thing. Lock your cars, please."

It's not just cars, though.

"We charged them with two separate burglaries where they actually went into the house through the garage to steal the keys and then came back out and stole the car," Healey said.

In addition to the auto theft charges, Mayan is also facing four counts of theft by unlawful taking of contents from an auto, two counts of burglary, two counts of theft by unlawful taking of a firearm, one count of trafficking in marijuana and one count of engaging in organized crime.

The Commonwealth Attorney said in court one of the stolen cars was recovered with bullet holes in it and blood was found on the inside. The blood was tracked to a juvenile who had been shot.

"We know that those stolen guns can turn into homicides," Healey said. "That's what our biggest concern was, keeping these stolen guns off the streets."

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