More than a dozen people were charged with a large-scale car theft ring in Queens, the district attorney's office said on Thursday.
The 17 defendants, three of which were still on the run Thursday, are indicted on charges of stealing luxury vehicles and changing the VIN's. The car brands include BMW's, Range Rovers and Mercedes-Benz.
The scam went like this: the suspected defendants would allegedly canvas for a luxury car, use the VIN to make a duplicate key and then take the car. The cars would then be sold through a black market dealer with "clean" papers. This happened between February 2013 and November 2014.
In some instances, the Queens district attorney's office said, they would steal a vehicle "to order," meaning the car had been requested by a customer.