Vehicle Theft, Fraud & Fuel Theft Ring Taken Down. $2.5 Million in Stolen Vehicles Recovered!

Monterey, CA…Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine M. Pacioni announced that the Monterey County Multi-Agency Detail for Combating Auto Theft (MADCAT) concluded an investigation that resulted in the recovery of 35 stolen vehicles valued at approximately $2.5 million dollars. At the beginning of April 2021, MADCAT investigators were contacted by a victim in Monterey County concerning two vehicles that the victim acquired through a trade. Both vehicles had an unregistered vehicle identification numbers (VIN). MADCAT determined the vehicles were stolen and began their investigation. They executed several search warrants and identified additional vehicles and suspects connected to the vehicle theft ring.

On Thursday, May 20, 2021 with the assistance of auto theft task forces from Santa Clara, Alameda, and Sonoma Counties, the California Highway Patrol Warrant Service Teams and the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team MADCAT executed additional search warrants at eight locations in Santa Clara and Alameda Counties. Those initial search warrants recovered 32 stolen vehicles, a large amount of U.S. currency, as well as evidence of the theft of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel. 30-year-old Michel Serrano was arrested Thursday in Oakland for charges related to auto theft and grand theft. 31-year-old Andres Ramirez-Riveiro from Castro Valley was arrested at his home for theft related charges.
Over the weekend MADCAT investigators located 3 additional stolen vehicles connected to this case, for a total of 35 recovered stolen vehicles. They also located the vehicles that belonged to the victim here in Monterey County. This is an ongoing investigation.
The MADCAT Taskforce consists of investigators from the California Highway Patrol, Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, Salinas Police Department and a Monterey County Deputy District Attorney, all were involved in this investigation. If you believe you have been the victim of this type of crime or have information about the case, please contact the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office Auto Insurance Fraud unit at (831) 755-3225 or leave an email tip