BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - On Thursday, May 29, investigators from the Kern County Auto Theft Task Force served search warrants at five locations in Bakersfield and Shafter in conjunction with investigators from the Arizona Department of Public Safety who served four search warrants in Mesa, Arizona.
The search warrants were served because of a four month joint investigation. The investigation revealed an interstate auto theft ring was obtaining stolen vehicles and switching the vehicle identification numbers. The stolen vehicles were then registered under the fraudulent identification numbers.
Authorities in California recovered nine vehicles, tools that are indicative of vehicle ID tampering, and DMV documentation.
Ernesto and Maria Negrete of Bakersfield, Alberto Pacheco Lencioni and Jesus Carvajal of Shafter were all arested in Kern County on charges relating to auto theft, chop shop activity and conspiracy.
Authorities in Arizona recovered five vehicles, seized 80 pounds of marijuana and made two arrests.
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