ST. LOUIS (AP) - A federal indictment accuses 21 people in a multi-state car theft conspiracy.
Most of the suspects are from the St. Louis area. One is from Highland, Kan. Sixteen of the 21 have been arrested.
Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that the suspects used a variety of means to steal luxury cars, SUVs and pickup trucks from individuals and dealerships in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. The cars were taken to Missouri and sold or disposed of. More than 100 vehicles were involved.
The indictment also accuses the suspects of falsely obtaining insurance proceeds. Charges include conspiracy, bank fraud, mail fraud and receipt of a stolen motor vehicle.
No charges have been filed in connection with last week's search of a Granite City business where investigators say they found three stolen vehicles and a tractor-trailer.
Illinois State Police said Monday that officers stopped a tractor-trailer leaving the business and found two stolen vehicles inside the trailer. A subsequent search of the lot uncovered a possibly stolen 1997 Cadillac, a 2000 Lexus and a tractor-trailer in addition to the dishware.
The investigation involves officials from Illinois State Police and regional law-enforcement agencies.