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

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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.