Man steals 08 STi from dealer to fix his 05 STi

I thought this was quite a hoot. The cliff notes basically come out to be a guy has an 05 STi, and steals an 08 from the dealer because of denied warranty work. He then takes parts off the car, and puts them into his own. Of course in the end he got caught, but he seems to be quite the enthusiast!

A Midvale man who was placed on probation at the end of September will likely be spending time in prison after all.

Rafael Vaz, 23, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of auto theft. The car, a high-performance 2008 Subaru STI, recently vanished from the lot of Larry H. Miller Subaru in Sandy.

“The vehicle was actually dumped in the Holladay area,” said Sandy police Sgt. Justin Chapman. However, when the car was recovered on September 26th, police discovered the engine and most of the interior had been stripped.

The dealership posted messages on local Subaru and car enthusiast websites asking for help in locating the missing parts. It received several tips as a result. That information allowed police to obtain a search warrant for a home in Saratoga Springs.

“Our detectives in concert with Sandy detectives then drafted a search warrant of this residence,” said Saratoga Springs police Cpl. Aaron Rosen.

A SWAT team served that warrant Wednesday afternoon. The officers reportedly located the stolen car parts and two male suspects. One of them was Rafael Vaz.

In investigating the matter, police learned that Vaz had taken his own 2005 Subaru STI in for service at another dealership shortly before the theft. That dealership – Mark Miller Subaru – denied his warranty claim because the car had aftermarket engine modifications.

Police belive Vaz was upset, so he and a friend headed to the Larry H. Miller dealership on September 24th and took the 2008 model for a test drive, swapping its key with another before returning the car.

“It was a Subaru key that apparently did fit into the same ignition,” said Chapman.

That night, someone cut a lock on the gate at the Larry H. Miller dealership and drove away in the new car.

Vaz picked up his own car from Mark Miller Subaru the next day.

When SWAT officers raided the home in Saratoga Springs, they reportedly found the seats from the 2008 STI bolted into Vaz’s 2005 STI. They also recovered the newer vehicle’s engine block.

The arrest could complicate things for Vaz. He was arrested in January and charged with attempted robbery, assault and theft. He accepted a plea deal on the robbery count in September and was sentenced to 36 months probation by Third District Judge Michele Christiansen.

At the time of his arrest Vaz was also wanted on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in Saratoga Springs.

Original story can be found here.

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