EXCLUSIVE: Federal authorities break up alleged auto theft ring

EXCLUSIVE: Feds break up alleged theft ring

Federal investigators have busted an alleged theft ring that's been targeting drivers of the popular Dodge Charger vehicles.

A federal grand jury indictment alleged the ring broke into cars rented by tourists who frequented the Arizona Memorial.

All six were arrested last week and pleaded not guilty today before Federal Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang.

Three of the individuals -- Micah Lyon, Shawn Sibayan and Jennifer Tubera -- were released yesterday on a $25,000 bond. Jherico Acob, Raygie Gano and Mark Retotal remain in federal custody pending a hearing Friday.

The indictments said the alleged ring frequented the Arizona Memorial's parking lot, waiting for tourists who had rented a Dodge Charger.

The Feds believe the thieves used a flat-head screw driver to punch open the car's trunk to take drivers' purses, credit cards, passports and cell phones.

They allegedly used the credit cards to buy gasoline and to go on shopping sprees at Walmart.

The indictment says the scheme fell apart when the group broke into a car rented by a federal law enforcement official.

A source familiar with the investigation says the group stole the official's federal badge and tried to sell it to what turned out to be a federal informant.

Because it happened on federal property, the defendants, all in their early 20s, face up to five years in prison if convicted. Trial is scheduled for Jan. 15.