Laguna Beach auto shop owner arrested on suspicion of stealing clients’ cars

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The owner of an auto repair shop in Laguna Beach was arrested this week on suspicion of stealing his clients’ cars, police said.

James Michael Ross, 59, who owns Laguna Beach Collision Center, was booked into Orange County jail on Friday and is set to appear in court Monday, records show.

It was not the first time the auto shop owner has been accused of stealing cars.

In April, Ross was arrested on charges relating to car theft and embezzlement stemming from six cases, according to the Long Beach Police Department. After a lengthy investigation, detectives learned that “Ross had stolen numerous vehicles that were brought to him for repairs,” they alleged.

He then allegedly drove those vehicles for his personal use and cut off contact with their owners. When the owners were unable to reach Ross or retrieve their cars, they reported him to the police.

On Wednesday, Laguna Beach police received another stolen vehicle report from one of Ross’s clients, they said. They found the car Thursday and arrested Ross on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle.

He is being held without bail.

No additional details were immediately available.

Police are asking anyone who believes that they are a victim to contact investigators at (949) 715-0984. Orange County Crime Stoppers also accepts anonymous tips at 855-TIP-OCCS.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.