DENVER – Attorney General John Suthers and the Denver Metro Auto Theft Team (DMATT) announced the end of the first phase of an on-going investigation into an auto theft ring operating throughout the Denver Metro area, which has resulted in six indictments. Commerce City Police Department officers identified the auto theft ring in February 2005, and were assisted in the investigation by members of DMATT.
“Auto theft is a multi-billion dollar problem in our country. Ring leaders are out to make huge profits at public expense,” said Attorney General Suthers. “The Attorney General’s Office is proud partner with the Denver Metro Auto Theft Team to crack down on auto theft and vehicle insurance fraud.”
As a result of the collaborative investigation by DMATT, the Commerce City Police Department, the Adams County District Attorney’s Office and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, six defendants were indicted through a State grand jury for charges that include felony racketeering. Indictment charges include auto theft, theft by receiving, production of methamphetamine, burglary, forgery, child abuse, possession of personal identifying information and possession of forgery devices.
The crime ring involved more than $200,000 in stolen cars and personal property.
Those in custody include:
- Cody Anders (DOB: 10/03/78) being held on $100,000 bond
- Margaret Jones (DOB: 02/25/77) being held on $250,000 bond
- Shawn Lutz (DOB: 07/25/85) being held on $20,000 bond
- Moises Manzanares (DOB: 09/30/80) being held on $250,000 bond
- Charles Williams (DOB: 07/20/74) being held on $1,000,000 bond
Police have an active warrant for Karley M. Steadman (DOB: 02/27/83), who has been charged with racketeering, burglary and receiving stolen property. The public is advised to contact a local police department if you have information related to Steadman’s whereabouts.
Other law enforcement officers who assisted in the investigation included officers from the Arvada, Westminster and Northglenn police departments, the Colorado State Patrol, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
“From identity theft to higher insurance rates, Coloradans are affected by auto theft on many fronts,” said Det. Bill Johnson of the Arvada Police Department and lead detective on the case. “Continued support by the insurance industry is crucial in our efforts to effectively target the upper echelon of auto theft rings and fund our team.”
DMATT, which is funded by voluntary contributions from the insurance industry, is dedicated to this on-going investigation, which includes other organized auto theft groups.