Man charged in luxury car theft scheme
October 27, 2023
A Murrieta man who was thwarted in his seven-figure attempt to steal a half dozen luxury cars is now in custody and expected to appear in court on Monday.
Kendall Clark, 25, was arrested in San Diego by investigators from the Riverside Auto-Theft Interdiction Detail (RAID) on Oct. 18, and has been charged by the DA’s Office with 18 felonies, including embezzlement and car theft.
In September, the owners of the stolen cars filed complaints with RAID, in cooperation with the DA’s Office. RAID and DA investigators learned Clark filled out rental paperwork for the cars, paid for a one-week rental, and picked them up from the owner in Lake Mathews. However, Clark did not return the vehicles, and when the owners tried to report them as stolen, were told the cars were no longer in their name.
The cars were later located at dealerships around the country with titles that had been forged or ‘washed’ by Clark to indicate a change of ownership. The total value of the cars is more than $1 million, and included a 2022 Chevrolet Corvette, 2015 Lamborghini Huracán, 2021 Jeep Wrangler, 2021 Porsche Cayenne, 2017 BMW i8 and 2020 Lamborghini Urus. The cars were all returned to their owners.
Clark pleaded not guilty to all charges during arraignment on Oct. 20. He is scheduled for a felony settlement conference on Oct. 30, at 8:30 a.m. at the Southwest Justice Center in Dept. S201. He is being held on $250,000 bail at the Southwest Detention Center.
RAID is a county-wide task force comprised of detectives from county law enforcement agencies that, in collaboration with the District Attorney’s Office, investigate and prosecute organized vehicle and vehicle-related theft, to include vehicle theft rings, chop shops, title washing operations, and VIN switching schemes.
Clark is also being investigated for additional crimes. Please contact Detective Matt Guzzino of the RAID task force at (951) 290-1923 with any information related to this matter. The case, SWF2301616, is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Timothy Brown of the DA’s Office Felony Prosecution Unit.