Involvement with individuals who are linked to crime rings can result in criminal allegations, even if you weren't directly responsible for criminal activity. When charged with theft crime as part of an overall ring, it's essential to protect your own interests and understand what legal options are open to you. Not every individual charged in such circumstances faces the same charges, and outcomes vary depending on defense strategy.
Police have arrested seven individuals linked to a Newport News car theft ring, and authorities report that they are seeking others involved in the incident. As of Thursday, March 20, those arrested included four 19-year-olds, an 18-year-old, a 20-year-old, and a 17-year-old who turned himself in. Charges vary for each individual, but include things such as multiple counts of burglary, conspiring to commit grand larceny, grand larceny, conspiring to commit a felony and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Police say that the group was brought together by social media. Police didn't have additional information about the social media presence and also stated that the group didn't appear to be doing anything with the stolen vehicles other than traveling from place to place. There was no indication that the vehicles were going to chop shops, say police, and authorities believe the individuals involved simply stole a vehicle for transportation to another area where they would steal another vehicle.
Police continue to seek suspects in the case. In the meantime, the seven individuals charged will face hearings and court dates. Acting quickly when faced with criminal charges is always a good idea, and seeking legal options as soon as possible is essential when others who are allegedly involved in a crime ring may also be considering their own options for a plea deal.
Source: WVEC, "PHOTOS: 7 charged in Newport News auto-theft ring" No author given, Mar. 20, 2014