Sep 23, 2015
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The vehicle came up clean, but not in the way the suspect would have liked.

A woman’s arrest at a Pinole car wash business Thursday morning was connected to the recent heist of two stolen luxury sport utility vehicles from the Burlington-Northern Santa Fe Railway yard in Richmond.

Richmond police detectives had spent the last month tracking down the stolen cars, which included two 2016 Mercedes-Benz models: the GL450 and the GLE350 (pictured above), Lt. Felix Tan said Tuesday.

The cars, which had been shipped from overseas, were destined to be loaded onto rail cars for U.S. transport but were stolen from the railway yard, Tan said. A week after the cars were reported stolen to RPD, officers located the GL450 and arrested one of the suspects in front of the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant near Richmond Parkway and Atlas Road, Tan said. Further details about the arrest weren’t immediately available.

It took detectives a bit longer to locate the GLE350, but at least when they did the vehicle had just been washed.

After following leads and collaborating with BNSF Railway police, Richmond detectives found the second suspect, described only as a woman, washing the vehicle about 11 a.m. Thursday at a business near San Pablo and 5th avenues in Pinole, Tan said.

“Detectives swarmed the car wash and took the woman into custody,” Tan said. “Detectives searched the car and found the woman’s personal belongings, methamphetamine, paraphernalia, and why not, a few stolen car keys and garage door openers (see photo below).”

The case remains active, and thus detectives say they are not yet releasing the identities of the suspects.



About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.