ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — St. Paul Police arrested 10 people allegedly involved in a major auto theft ring including 50 stolen cars.

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Police say the 10 people arrested have been charged with trying to sell the vehicles for scrap metal. Authorities have been working to bust the theft ring for roughly three months.

Police say the thefts took place from January to June of this year and most were lifted from St. Paul streets, parking lots and driveways. They say none of the vehicles were high-end cars.

The investigation is ongoing but one recycling yard, Metal Works, has appeared in multiple instances.

Investigators say the criminals in question used three different schemes to steal the cars. Thieves called tow trucks to move vehicles to scrap metal yards, claiming that the vehicle was theirs, when it wasn’t.

In the second strategy, tow truck drivers themselves stole the vehicles and sold them to scrap metals lots.

The third scheme involved theft of veicles by individuals who broke in and drove the vehicles to metal recyclers.

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As the investigation unraveled, it was clear that there is a system in place involving multiple parties to make these thefts worthwhile to criminals.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi made it very clear during Wednesday’s press conference, that he is working to make this cycle stop.

“I also have a demand for tow truck operators and the scrap metal industry — clean up your act,” he said. “It’s clear that the demand for scrap metal is driving this operation.”

Police said the price of the cars for scrap metal depends on weight and metal prices for the day. They estimated that most thieves received about $300 to $350 per vehilce.

As the investigation continues, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office and St. Paul Police Department are encouraging the legislature to require scrap metal yards to obtain a title or proof of ownership of the vehicle.

The other option is to have a waiting period so investigators can catch up with the theft.

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Police say some of the vehicles stolen went from in tact to crushed and scrapped in a matter of hours. With movement that fast, they say it was rare for the victims to find out what happened to their vehicle.