NEWARK — Four city men were arrested and charged with working together to steal luxury cars and put them on cargo ships or moved out of state.

Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said the four men would target cars like BMWs, Bentleys, and Mercedes and would then leave them at a hotel in Elizabeth to "cool off" while they worked to hide their locations. At that time they would be moved for sale or shipping someplace else.

Porrino said many of the cars came from the northern and central parts of the state including places like Holmdel, Princeton, and Morristown among others. Porrino said the four men are connected to the theft of at least 14 cars and said they are valued at more than $800,000.

Brothers Kelvin Vega, 25, and Jonathan Vega, 24, and Carlos Sanchez Jr., 18, and Bilal Cureton, 27, have been charged with third-degree burglary. Cureton has also been charged with third-degree attempted theft by unlawful taking. Kelvin Vega was arrested in Louisiana where he was found in possession of two stolen Mercedes S550s. Other stolen cars were found in Maryland and Ohio.

“These men allegedly scoured wealthy residential areas for the luxury cars they prized, typically stealing them right from their owners’ driveways,” Porrino said. “This was big business for these defendants, but our Auto Theft Task Force has taken down their alleged conspiracy.”

The second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The third-degree charge three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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