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Stonington police charge man with long history of stealing luxury cars across the country

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Stonington — Police detectives returned from Florida on Wednesday with a man who they allege stole a Ford 350 pickup truck during a test drive from the Valenti Auto Mall in February of 2006.

The man, Kevin J. Rellah, 56, of Lawtey, Fla., had been serving a prison term there when police here obtained a warrant for his arrest for first-degree larceny. He was arraigned in New London Superior Court on Thursday.

According to the warrant, Rellah took the $52,000 truck on a test drive and at one point pulled into the Mystic Factory Outlet complex telling the salesman that he wanted to show the truck to a friend who worked at a now defunct gym there. He then told the salesman he thought there was a problem with the truck and when the salesman got out to check, Rellah took off in the truck. A few days later, police in Warwick, R.I., where Rellah originally is from, spotted the pickup truck and tried to stop it. Rellah fled and eventually abandoned the truck and ran off. He was identified by a passenger in the truck and the salesman was able to identify his photo.

Capt. Todd Olson said Rellah was cooperative with detectives on the trip from Florida to Stonington.

Rellah has a more than 30-year history of stealing luxury cars in several states including Florida, Rhode Island, Maryland, New Jersey, California and Arizona, according to media and law enforcement report. He developed an international business selling the stolen Lamborghinis, Mercedes, Ferraris and Porsches.

In 2015, he was arrested in Florida for pointing a gun at a salesman from a St. Augustine dealership during a test drive and carjacking a 1965 Ford Shelby Cobra valued at $95,000.

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