Local News

Suspect in Alleged Theft Ring Didn't Know Cars Were Stolen

Posted November 16, 2007 11:28 a.m. EST
Updated November 16, 2007 6:54 p.m. EST

— One of three women charged in connection with an alleged car-theft ring that spanned four counties said Friday she did not know the cars were stolen.

Lakia Lashell McLeod, 28, of 7041 Pine Road, said she paid $8,000 for a 2007 Nissan 350Z – one of two vehicles she is charged with allegedly stealing.

"We were told they were salvaged cars," she said. "That's what we were told."

Police said the 350Z was new. It was one of seven vehicles reported stolen from October 2006 to September 2007 from car dealerships in Smithfield, Fayetteville, Apex, Raleigh and Southern. Together, the property is worth an estimated $200,000, police said.

"Had we known that, I'm fairly – very sure – we would not have purchased a stolen car," McLeod said.

McLeod, Amendrius Elizabeth McRae and Indira Blue Butler – each face at least one count of felony possession a motor vehicle.

McRae, 26, of 1024 Bent Pine Circle, also faces a charge of driving while license revoked. Butler, 41, of 1316 Glen Court, faces an additional count of felony possession of a motor vehicle, as well as one count of failure to stop for a blue light and siren, felony eluding arrest, and careless and reckless driving.

And McLeod, who said she is training to be a teacher, also faces an additional counts of felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Police received a tip that the suspects were driving the stolen vehicles, which include a 2003 Lexus, a 2006 Chrysler 300 and a 2004 Nissan Maxima.

McLeod, who was out of jail on a $4,000 bond, insists she did nothing wrong. She said she knows the individual who sold them the vehicles but she would not say who it was.

"I'm not gonna rat out anyone or snitch on anyone," she said. "I was in possession. I'll take my charge."

McRae was also out of jail Friday on a $5,000 secured bond. Butler was still in the Lee County Jail Friday under a $10,000 secured bond.