Crime Alert: Vehicle Theft Ring in Central AR

Published 05/13 2014 08:03PM

Updated 05/14 2014 08:30AM

HOT SPRING COUNTY, AR - Authorities say a car theft ring is responsible for dozens of vehicles disappearing across central Arkansas.

The Hot Spring County Sheriff's Office says the criminals are taking the VIN* numbers off the vehicles, replacing them and then in some cases changing the paint job. Authorities say they have two suspects in custody but say more are still out there.

"They're just stealing them from everywhere they can steal them from. People that do this, they do this long enough, they get good at what they're doing. But eventually they do get caught," says Lt. Johnny Nicklaus.

Nicklaus says thieves may be stripping the cars for parts, but some have been found with new paint jobs.

Authorities say in some instances thieves take a car for a test drive at a dealership and then remove the VIN number while they're gone.

*VIN=Vehicle Identification Number

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