Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the theft of actor John Travolta’s 1970 Mercedes in Santa Monica last year, police said.
As a result of the arrests of Michael Green and D.L. Rayford, Jr. and the ongoing investigation, police have uncovered an alleged sophisticated car theft ring that targeted older model Mercedes and muscle cars, Santa Monica police Sgt. Richard Lewis said. Investigators shut down the operation, recovering eight stolen vehicles and miscellaneous parts of other vehicles, including Travolta’s 280 SL convertible, Lewis said.
Police initiated the investigation on Sept. 18 when Travolta told officers that his Mercedes was stolen after he parked it in the 1400 block of Berkeley Street.
During the 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, Lewis said.
Detectives worked on the investigation with the Taskforce for Regional Auto theft Prevention (TRAP), 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 local law enforcement agencies.
Through the collaborative efforts of TRAP investigators and the Santa Monica Police Department, Green and Rayford were identified as suspects in the theft of Travolta’s vehicle and were arrested by task force investigators last month, Lewis said.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with additional information is asked to contact Det. Steve Smetzer at (310) 458-8936 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at (310) 458-8495.