Police: Kenner man stole cars left on I-310
Sold them to junk yards
Edwar Soto, 34, of 2730 Tifton St. in Kenner, is alleged to have traveled throughout the region in his truck with a tow dolly. He would pick up vehicles that had broken down or run out of gas on the side of interstates and highways before selling them for scrap, according to authorities.
New Orleans police officers say they caught Soto in the act of stealing a car and arrested him on April 16. He was charged with motor vehicle theft and illegal possession of stolen things, but it was not until investigators examined documents seized from Soto that they discovered he was behind several vehicle thefts across the area.
While the extent of Soto’s supposed illegal activities is not yet fully known, he is under investigation for car thefts that have occurred in St. Charles, St. John, Jefferson, Orleans, Baton Rouge and Assumption parishes.
So far, Soto has only been connected directly to four auto thefts, but he is suspected of many more including at least five that have taken place on I-310 and Highway 90 in St. Charles Parish.
Trooper Melissa Matey, spokesperson for State Police Troop B, said due the wide range of Soto’s activities, the investigation involves numerous local law enforcement agencies and may take a long time to complete.
“I know they have plenty of boxes of paperwork they are going through currently. We are working with so many agencies that we have to go through stolen vehicle reports for all of the different parishes. It is probably going to take a little while, but there are going to be multiple different charges placed on him in different parishes,” she said.
Soto has already been charged in Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish.
It is unclear how many vehicles were stolen from St. Charles Parish.
Matey said as far as she knows, the State Police had never before seen the method Soto used to steal vehicles.
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