When the companies had to buyback thousands of vehicles, they needed a place to store them. The Silverdome was one such location and it proved to be a valuable target for thieves.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, 42-year old Romane Porter and 41-year old Daniel Onorati conspired with others to steal approximately 61 Audi and Volkswagen vehicles from the Silverdome’s parking lot. The group then sold or attempted to sell the vehicles and the government notes 46 of them were transported out of state.
The thefts reportedly occurred between March and September of 2017. They quickly gained the attention of authorities and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office worked with the FBI to crack the case.
Both Porter and Onorati are facing a number of charges and the U.S. Attorney’s Office says they face up to ten years in prison if they are convicted of selling or being in possession of stolen vehicles. The duo have also been charged with conspiracy and that could land them up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 (€191,347 / £221,388).
In a statement, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said “These individuals were bold in their behavior in stealing such a large volume of vehicles from a well-known location. These criminals deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”