Multi-million dollar car theft ring busted by local police and FBI

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Six people were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury Friday on charges of stealing more than a dozen high-end cars, changing the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), and creating fraudulent documents to sell them.

Alpharetta police say this ring dates back to thefts in 2015. Eight Bentleys were stolen--worth more than $1.5M. Police say this group also stole Audi's, Mercedes-Benz, Corvette's and several other high-end cars.

The thefts happened across several states, and in the case of the Bentleys stolen from the Alpharetta dealership, the thieves were able to steal the cars without tripping an alarm. Police say there were no signs of a forced entry and the cars were driven off the lot by spare keys stolen from a drawer inside the business.

Alpharetta Police said once the group had the cars, they would change the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN by searching online for similar looking cars for sale. They would take that VIN and stick it to the windshield on top of the actual VIN. This way, the car would be searchable and not appear stolen.

Investigators said the group also went to the DMV and claimed power of attorney to get titles to certain cars. One person in the group was even trained as an attorney.

The six people involved were indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and altering a VIN:

  • Everett Tripodis, 42
  • Janell Payne, 39
  • Mark Wilson, 31
  • Kakawana Tate, 42
  • Antonio Tyler, 42
  • Quentin Berry, 42

The FBI and the U.S. Attorney are involved in this investigation in conjunction with the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety.