'Untouchable' sent to prison for theft - East Valley Tribune: News

'Untouchable' sent to prison for theft

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Posted: Friday, May 23, 2008 5:28 pm | Updated: 10:54 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A Cave Creek man known as one of “The Untouchables” from a notorious East Coast auto theft ring was sentenced to 7.2 years of federal prison on Friday for stealing more than $400,000 in recreational vehicles and burning a car after drenching it with gasoline, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Raymond Merolle, 42, was found guilty of two counts of theft and one count of arson in January, the office announced.

Merolle was convicted from DNA evidence of the theft of a 38-foot cigarette boat and recreational vehicles valued at more than $400,000. The arson charge stemmed from a car that belonged to his ex-girlfriend that Merolle drenched with gasoline and burned before abandoning it in a desert wash at 54th Avenue and Union Hills Drive in northwest Phoenix, the office said.

Merolle was the head of an auto theft and “chop shop” ring based in New York and New Jersey known as the “Untouchables” and testified at a New York murder trial that his ring had been responsible for the theft of more than $1 million in cars.

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