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      Auto thieves caught in act by Brownsville police

      Brownsville police arrested three men involved in an auto theft ring.

      Authorities said the group of men were stealing older model vehicles throughout the city and then cashing them in at scrap yards.

      Alejandro Tovar, Edgar Martinez Torres and Nestor De La Fuente had been targeting older Ford pick-up trucks and mini vans.

      They were stealing them, then taking them apart and selling the metal parts for hundreds of dollars.

      Police arrested the 31, 27 and 19-year-old on Tuesday.

      The trio stole a 1995 F-150 pick-up from the Family Thrift Store at 230 Security Drive, according to authorities.

      Within minutes, the men were tracked down by police at the Esco Scrap Yard on F.M. 511, where they had alredy taken off the tires.

      "They were vehicles that were missing bumpers or vehicles that were older model, Officer Billy Killebrew said. They were taking those vehicles so they can just go and scrap them and get $200 $300 for them, they weren't interested in taking them to Mexico or anywhere else except just to get them scrapped so we had an incease in older vehicles that were being stolen."

      Killebrew added that in many of these cases the owners of the vehicles suffer at total loss since many are already paid off and only have liability coverage.

      The men are suspected in at least six other car thefts where it TMs believed they also cashed in for parts.

      Police said the investigation is ongoing.