Two suspects have been arrested in connection to the theft of John Travolta’s convertible 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL in Santa Monica on Sept. 18 last year.
During the past four months of the Santa Monica Police Department investigation, detectives obtained video footage of the vehicle and the suspects as the vehicle was being stolen.
In addition, detectives received several valuable tips from the public after the initial information was released to the public through the media.
Detectives shared this information with the Taskforce for Regional Auto theft Prevention (TRAP), which is a task force comprised of highly specialized investigators from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, California Highway Patrol and various other participating law enforcement agencies in the region, who are experts in organized auto theft rings.
Through the collaborative efforts of investigators assigned to TRAP and the SMPD, two individuals were identified as suspects’ relating to the theft of Travolta’s Mercedes and were arrested by investigators from the task force.
As a result of these arrests and the ongoing investigative efforts of TRAP, a sophisticated car theft ring which targeted older model Mercedes, and muscle cars was discovered and shut down, with eight stolen vehicles and miscellaneous parts of other vehicles having been recovered. Only parts of Travolta’s vehicle was among the property recovered.
This investigation is ongoing and anyone having information is asked to contact: Detective Steve Smetzer at 310.458.8936 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at 310.458.8495. The public may also call the Task Force for Regional Auto theft Prevention at 818.830.6977 and ask for LAPD Detective George Molina.