Auto theft ring cracked

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

As a result of a three month investigation, Pennsylvania State Police Troop H, Chambersburg barracks, uncovered an auto theft ring that stretched from New York, through Chambersburg and into Hagerstown, Md.  They arrested three men last Friday. The suspects were charged with receiving stolen property.

In December two Chevrolet Tahoes were stolen in Chambersburg. The Chambersburg police department then recovered three stolen vehicles. Upon further investigation, two more stolen vehicles were seized from a storage facility by PSP.

 An informant told police that a transfer of a stolen vehicle was going to take place soon. Surveillance of Ramon E. Santos, 43, led investigators to a meeting place with Edward Antonio Gomez, 34, and Merbin Benito A. Batista, 27, both of New York. They had a BMW X3, reported stolen from New York. The three were taken into custody without incident at Popeye’s parking lot on Route 30 in Guilford Township at 4 p.m. Feb. 18.

Agencies working on the case were the auto theft unit of PSP, Chambersburg police, Hagerstown police and Maryland State Police. Other individuals were arrested in Maryland on the same day.

The vehicles recovered included a Toyota Highlander, Toyota Camry, BMW X3, Nissan Mirano, Honda Civic, three other vehicles in Chambersburg and several more in Maryland.