Six people have been charged in connection with the thefts of 22 vehicles, key fobs, and tens of thousands of dollars in cash.

Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck on Friday announced charges against alleged members of an auto theft ring that targeted dealerships in Essex, Hudson, Bergen, and Union counties in May and June 2021.

The stolen vehicles, most of which are high-end, are valued at over $787,000, the Attorney General's Office said.

According to officials, 10 vehicles and a safe containing approximately $52,000 were stolen from an Irvington car dealership on June 4; five vehicles were stolen on June 10 from a Jersey City dealership; and six were stolen from a dealership in Englewood on June 14. The ring also stole non-functioning key fobs from a Hillside dealership on June 10, officials said, and is linked to another vehicle stolen from a driveway in Moorestown on May 19.

"We're cracking down on the criminal enterprises that endanger our state's residents and businesses, and these arrests demonstrate our ongoing commitment to that effort," Bruck said.

The defendants are:

  • Khiree Smith, 29, of Newark
  • Brian Peppers, 30, of Newark
  • Kaiyir Green, 19, of Newark
  • Alquan Harris, 22, of East Orange
  • Tyheem Pollard-Raines, 27, of Blackwood
  • Sharieff Copeland, 25, of East Orange

The latest arrest, of Copeland, was made on Dec. 9. Peppers and Smith are also charged with eluding police during the investigation.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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