TOTOWAR - Authorities say they have broken an international carjacking and stolen car ring that targeted luxury vehicles in New Jersey and New York.
The New Jersey Attorney General's Office said Wednesday that 21 people are charged and 90 stolen vehicles worth more than $4 million have been recovered.
Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said that the operation shipped cars to West Africa, where they command higher prices.
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"This group was very vigilant and very aggressive in making sure to tie up as many loose ends as much as possible,” he said.
Hoffman said the ring scouted golf courses, expensive restaurants and suburban driveways to find the cars and then committed armed carjackings and other thefts.
"The days of hot wiring cars are gone,” said Hoffman. “By definition, the modern car thief needs to commit a carjacking or steal the car using the method that gets him the key. Many times, unfortunately, dangerously."
The alleged thieves frequently stole Land Rovers, Mercedes Benzes, BMWs, Maseratis, Porsches, Jaguars and Bentleys.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.