Operation Hellcat attempted truck theft
Operation Hellcat (Photos provided by law enforcement)

Operation Hellcat: Six arrested, one still wanted in high-end car theft ring involving Apple Air Tags

PORT ALLEN — A year-long investigation involving a dozen agencies from south Louisiana to Miami has led to six people being arrested in connection to a high-end car theft ring.

The alleged thieves were targeting expensive Dodge vehicles — everything from TRX trucks to Hellcats and Scat Pack Edition Chargers — during their move from rail cars at the Union Pacific Automotive Facility in Port Allen to dealerships in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans area. Investigators believe the suspects were using Apple Air Tags to track the vehicles where they would allegedly use stolen key fobs to steal the vehicles.

“They were going into the facility, and there were multiple key fobs for each vehicle, and they would take one key fob and deposit one Apple Air Tag inside that vehicle,” said Sgt. Landon Groger, public affairs coordinator with the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.

The Union Pacific Automotive Facility in Port Allen is where majority of the Dodge vehicles in the area are held before they’re transported to dealerships. Vehicles are brought in via rail and offloaded to a secured lot. Groger says that key fob protocol and security has been revamped to prevent future thefts.

The first theft happened on March 26, 2023, according to investigators. They say that two Dodge Ram 1500 TRX Hellcats, valued at $100,000 each, were stolen before they were recovered in Miami Beach and Jefferson Parish.

Investigators details several other brazen thefts and attempted thefts over the past several months. On March 21, six suspects were arrested and four residences in Jefferson Parish and one residence in LaFourche Parish were searched. 19 key fobs, grinders, burglary tools and more Air Tags were found during the search.

Investigators say there is no connection or relationship between the suspects and the Port Allen facility where the theft ring originated.

  • Operation Hellcat attempted truck theft
  • Operation Hellcat attempted truck theft
  • Operation Hellcat attempted truck theft

Suspects arrested & charges

Keleen Magee, 26, Westwego

  • 6 counts: Burglary of a business
  • 2 counts: Theft of a motor vehicle
  • 6 counts: Principal to theft of a motor vehicle
  • 19 counts: Theft of motor vehicle parts (key fobs)
  • 19 counts: Attempted theft of a motor vehicle
  • 5 counts: Simple criminal damage to property
  • Unauthorized entry of a business
  • Criminal trespassing
  • Principle to burglary of a motor vehicle
  • Principle to simple criminal damage to property

Ashanti Bradley, 22, Westwego

  • 2 counts: Principal to theft of a motor vehicle
  • 2 counts: Principle to simple burglary
  • 3 counts: Theft of motor vehicle parts (key fobs)
  • 3 counts: Principle to attempted theft of a motor vehicle
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Principle to Unauthorized entry of a business
  • Principle to simple criminal trespassing
  • Principle to burglary of a motor vehicle
  • Principle to simple criminal damage to property

Joseph Parker, Jr., 38, Harvey

  • 3 counts: Burglary of a business
  • 3 counts: Theft of a motor vehicle
  • 6 counts: Principal to theft of a motor vehicle
  • 19 counts: Theft of motor vehicle parts (key fobs)
  • 19 counts: Principle to attempted theft of a motor vehicle
  • 3 counts: Simple criminal damage to property
  • Unauthorized entry of a business
  • Criminal trespassing
  • Principle to burglary of a motor vehicle
  • Principle to simple criminal damage to property

Dion Roberts, 24, Thibodaux

  • 4 counts: Burglary of a business
  • 3 counts: Theft of a motor vehicle
  • 5 counts: Principal to theft of a motor vehicle
  • 15 counts: Theft of motor vehicle parts (key fobs)
  • 3 counts: Simple criminal damage to property
  • 18 counts: Attempted theft of a motor vehicle

Kelsey Smith, 25, Thibodaux

  • Principle to burglary of a motor vehicle
  • Principal to theft of a motor vehicle
  • 3 counts: Theft of motor vehicle parts (key fobs)
  • Principle to simple criminal damage to property
  • Principle to attempted theft of a motor vehicle

Ja’Quan Price, 18, Jefferson

  • Unauthorized entry of a business
  • Simple criminal trespassing
  • Principle to burglary of a motor vehicle

A booking photo for the six arrested was not provided due to Act No. 494, which places restrictions on mugshots released to the media for most offenses with exceptions for certain violent crimes.

Operation Hellcat Suspect Kenneth Stackhouse

Investigator say they’re still looking for one suspect: 25-year-old Kenneth Stackhouse of Westwego. He’s wanted for simple burglary, motor vehicle theft and principle to attempted theft of a motor vehicle among other charges. Officials believe he may be driving a black 2019 Chevrolet Malibu with Louisiana license plate 945-GPZ.

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to stay updated on the latest news across the Capital area. 

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