The 16 vehicles on display, along with four more seized after they'd reached Vietnam, were worth an estimated total of $1.5 million, said Carlos Martel, director of field operations in Los Angeles for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
They include BMW and Mercedes SUVs, an Audi Quattro and a black, 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia valued at $280,000.
The ring of thieves might have gotten away with it had they not gotten greedy and gone for the Ferrari.
They had used fake identities to either lease or agree to buy the new vehicles in the Los Angeles area, defrauding dealers, lenders and insurance companies in the process, Martel said.They apparently had crated and labeled the cars as "used exercise equipment." What makes this especially stupid is:
"They're worth anywhere from two to three times the value of what they're worth in the United States," Martel said.Which means that if they had just purchased the cars and shipped them, they could have still made a very hefty profit, without breaking U.S. law, and without having to use fake identities.