FBI Charge Four Cleveland-Area Men Who Stole Over A Dozen Performance Dodges And Jeeps With Pro-Pads

Four men have been charged in connection with a series of crimes that include the theft of several Dodge and Jeep vehicles around Ohio and Michigan.

FBI agents arrested Devin Rice, Hakim Benjamin, and Lavelle Jones last week, all of whom live in the Cleveland area. A fourth suspect, Jaylen Harris, has been charged as part of the same complaint but not arrested, reports Cleveland.com.

The group faces federal charges including robbery, mail theft, transporting cars across state lines, and gun possession. The suspects will be tried for the crimes, which investigators allege involved several sophisticated schemes.

Read Also: Dodge Charger Thefts Getting Out Of Hand With One Michigan PD Reporting 1,000 Stolen Cars In A Year

The FBI claims that the suspects obtained several universal keys that are designed to open all of the blue mailboxes in a given, geographical area. The suspects allegedly robbed postal workers at gunpoint in order to steal the keys and one of the suspects told investigators that he paid a postal service employee $1,000 for a key. With that, investigators say the men were able to steal mail from the mailboxes and use it to commit fraud. Several bank accounts were drained and cheques were forged in order to be cashed at banks.

According to an affidavit, the investigation got a break when police noticed a vehicle that was involved in the armed robbery of a mail carrier. They found a collection of mail keys and got a warrant to search the vehicle where they discovered a number of bank deposit slips and checks. They later got a warrant to search a house where some of the men lived and allegedly found more stolen mail and paper used to print checks, according to News 5 Cleveland.

They Mostly Stole Dodges And Jeeps

While there, investigators claim they also found stolen vehicles, which led them to link these mail crimes to a separate series of thefts involving high-end vehicles, mostly Dodges and Jeeps. Those thefts reportedly took place in both Ohio and Michigan and police say that thieves used a “Pro Pad,” which allowed them to copy key fob information to effectively trick the vehicles into opening and starting for them.

The vehicles were mainly high-performance models like Dodge Challenger and Charger Scat Packs and Hellcats, as well as Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawks. According to the FBI, the vehicles (some of which can sell for around $90,000) were sold for as little as $3,500, $8,000, and $15,000, respectively.

The stolen vehicles were then allegedly involved in high-speed chases, car crashes, and traffic stops. Others, meanwhile, were simply stashed around the Cleveland area.

Considered together, the vehicle and mail thefts are estimated to amount to around $2.7 million. The lawyer for Hakim Benjamin, though, said that his client is looking forward to his day in court.

Source : Autonews.com

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