5 arrested in car theft ring bust

January 14, 2008 1:54:17 PM PST
Delaware State Police have made five arrests in an auto theft ring operating in New Castle County and in Pennsylvania. It was a simple operation in which the thieves targeted local neighborhoods, shopping centers and parking lots to look through unlocked cars and check for an extra set of car keys.

In one alleged case in Avondale, Pennsylvania the suspects entered a residence while the occupants were sleeping upstairs. They rummaged through the downstairs until they found the car keys.

On Thursday January 10th at approximately 12:30 p.m., an undercover detective contacted 25-year-old Richard Shipkowski of Newark and ordered three cars in exchange for $6,500. The cars were delivered to Fox Run Shopping Center in Bear, Delaware where they were recovered by police.

The recovered vehicles were a 2004 Subaru Forrester, reported stolen in Pennsylvania; a 2002 Hyndai Elantra, reported stolen on January 2nd and a 2007 Mazda MX3, reported stolen on December 23rd. Troopers later recovered a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500, which was reported stolen on November 3rd.

Shipkowski, along with 23-year-old Daniel Markovitz of Hockessin and Kierstyn Snyder, 22, of New Castle were arrested and released on $2,000 unsecured bond. 21-year-old Katie Duffy of Bear was committed to the Baylor Woman's Correctional Institute in lieu of a $1,000 secured bond and a $2,000 unsecured bond. Devyn Brohawn, 17, of Wilmington was arrested and released on $1,000.00 unsecured bond.

The defendants were also in the possession of stolen GPS navigation devices, radar detectors and lap top computers, which were confiscated by police.

The defendants were all arrested on felony charges of receiving stolen property and Conspiracy 2nd.

Police are continuing their investigation.