lights and sirens

FLORENCE — Seven people have been arrested after a month-long investigation into a vehicle theft ring, Pinal County authorities say.

The probe started after patrol deputies received a tip about the operation, county sheriff's officials say.

Deputies identified the suspects and learned each had a specific role.

They say the suspects would case different neighborhoods, looking for anyone with an off-road vehicle or motorcycle and then come back and steal the vehicle.

An estimated 40 ATVs, motorcycles or quads were stolen from the citizens in the San Tan Valley and Queen Creek area with the vehicles worth more than $95,000, officials say.

Deputies have recovered eight vehicles so far and say more people could be arrested in the case.