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More charges filed against suspected auto thief ringleaders

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on March 1, 2013 at 10:34 am |
March 1, 2013 10:34 am

Charges are piling up for two of the men accused of operating an automobile theft ring busted this week by an undercover operation based in Tacoma.

Pierce County prosecutors added more charges against Samnang Reuy, 28, and Harrie Oh Chan, 21. They were arraigned on new charges Thursday.

Reuy has pleaded not guilty to four counts of trafficking in stolen property, three counts of unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, one count of second-degree theft, one count of second-degree identity theft and one count of residential burglary.

Chan has pleaded not guilty to one count of residential burglary, one count of unlawful possess of a firearm, three counts of trafficking in stolen property, one count of second-degree theft and two counts of unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle.

Prosecutors said they expect to add more charges as the investigation continues.

The newest charges stem from a Jan. 5 burglary at a Tacoma home on McKinley Avenue. Chan and Reuy are accused of breaking into the house while the owner was on vacation, stealing his car keys and selling the stolen Chevy Cobalt to undercover detectives for $850.

The men are among 21 arrested earlier this week during an Auto Crimes Enforcement Task Force sting called “Shiny Penny” that also netted 26 stolen cars, 16 firearms and other stolen property.

The undercover operation lasted six months, spanned Pierce and Thurston counties and included officers from Lakewood, Tacoma, Puyallup and Fife, along with the Pierce County sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices.

Also taking part were the Washington State Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority.

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