Jorge Velasquez Fernandez, Luis Rico Humberto, Ignacio Fernandez Mendez, Gabino Rodriguez Perez and Marco Antonio Mendoza will all be arraigned on Thursday in Fullerton for the alleged theft of over 50 Toyota Tacomas in Orange and Los Angeles County. These 5 men, who are residents of Anaheim and Orange, had an auto theft ring which involved stealing the trucks from Los Angeles County, changing license plates and forging new titles and then selling them to unsuspecting Orange County buyers for $5,000-$10,000. After the men were caught, some of the cars were recovered and returned to their rightful owners if the insurance company had not already compensated them.
In 2008, there was a 19% drop in auto thefts in Orange County compared to 2007. In California, the rate dropped about 12% to about 199,766 cars with an estimated value of around 1 billion dollars. About 87% of the cars were found and returned.
These 5 men will likely be charged with receiving stolen property, unlawful taking of a vehicle and grand theft. They will need experienced defense attorneys to assist them in reducing their charges and their sentences.