Driving Out Car Thieves

Undercover officers bought 46 stolen cars, seven guns and drugs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Man in handcufffs.

    Authorities have made dozens of arrests in a bid to drive car thieves out of San Diego County.

    The county district attorney's office on Friday announced the end of a six-month investigation dubbed "Operation Hotel California" that included indictments against 51 people.

    Spokesman Paul Levikow says undercover officers working near a Navy base bought 46 stolen cars, seven guns and drugs ranging from Ecstasy to heroin.

    The suspects face charges ranging from auto theft to carjacking and burglary. Levikow says 44 of those charged were arrested in raids Thursday or already were in jail on other charges.

    The probe was conducted by the Regional Auto Theft Task Force and naval investigators.