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Car Thieves Go TransAtlantic

Mary Dunkley had just gotten back from church choir practice when one of the carjackers ripped open the door to her Toyota Camry. The 70-year-old retired secretary said that as she spilled onto the ground outside her Landover townhouse, the man put a gun to her head and demanded that she give up her purse.

“He was telling me, ‘Let it go. Let it go,’ ” Dunkley said. “Someone else came around real quick and jumped in the passenger seat, and they were gone in seconds.”

The men who carjacked Dunkley on March 17 were professional thieves, members of a sophisticated transatlantic car theft ring, police said. Their plan — thwarted by Prince George’s County detectives who arrested them this month — was to ship her 2009 silver Toyota thousands of miles to Lagos, Nigeria, authorities said.

While most cars are swiped for joy rides or cash from selling parts, authorities say the ring and others like it make up a complex, multimillion-dollar network.


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