A Phoenix, Arizona, man was convicted in Gwinnett County this past week of multiple charges related to the theft and “cloning” of a Range Rover that had been reported stolen in Miami.
The Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said a jury convicted Jarbah Babyboy Wento, 35, of theft by receiving stolen property, affixing of plate to conceal or misrepresent identity and involvement with motor vehicle having identification removed.
“Mr. Wento was convicted on all charges and given a sentence of 12 years to serve the first 3 years in custody,” the DA’s Office said in a statement.
According to prosecutors, Gwinnett police were conducting random license plate checks at an apartment complex and found the Land Rover Range Rover SUV with used car dealership plates on it in the parking lot.
The DA’s Office did not specify where the apartment complex was located, or what its name was. Jail records list his last known address as being in Arizona.
“After checking the vehicle identification number displayed through the windshield, the detectives determined that the Range Rover was likely a cloned vehicle,” prosecutors said.
“Cloned vehicles are stolen vehicles that have the VIN altered or replaced giving the appearance that the vehicle is legitimate and legal.”
After the true VIN was located and check, police learned the vehicle belonged to a Hertz Rental and had been reported stolen out of Miami.
The DA’s office said Wento admitted to putting the used car dealership tags — which were unauthorized — on the vehicle.
“The investigation ultimately revealed that Jarbah Babyboy Wento is a citizen of Liberia,” prosecutors said. “Wento purchased the Range Rover with the intent to ship the vehicle to Liberia. Wento gave several inconsistent statements to detectives concerning the purchase of the vehicle.”
After detectives searched Wento’s home on a search warrant, they found a fraudulent Georgia Certificate of Title, according to the DA’s Office.