Former employees of BMW dealer charged in alleged joyride

Prosecutors filed misdemeanor charges Wednesday against two former Pacific BMW workers who allegedly took a high-powered sports car on the lot for a joyride.

A video of one of them gunning the vehicle down a residential street in Glendale was later posted on YouTube.

Vacheh Margoussian, 21, and Artin Yazidjian, 22, face misdemeanor charges for taking the car from the dealership, according to a complaint filed Wednesday by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Margoussian was also slapped with a misdemeanor reckless driving charge.

As a passenger, Yazidjian videotaped Margoussian driving at a high rate of speed down East Windsor Road, according to the complaint.

The men are scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 12 in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Glendale.

Glendale police detectives determined that the incident occurred on Aug. 12, and that the video was posted on YouTube the next day, said Sgt. Tom Lorenz.

Police were alerted to the YouTube video on Sept. 14, Lorenz added.

“The video was out there for some time before it got to us,” he said.

Pacific BMW officials said they immediately fired the two workers after they found out about the incident.

The dealership cooperated with police, Lorenz said, and identified Margoussian, a valet, and Yazidjian, a tire technician.

Detectives later interviewed the former employees, who were also cooperative, said Lorenz, adding that there were no prior incidents involving the men or the dealership.

When Margoussian and Yazidjian allegedly took the 1 Series M coupe, it had just been delivered to the dealership. In the video, the car’s interior was still covered in plastic and a sales sticker was in the window.

Pacific BMW officials said the coupe was sold just as word about the incident hit the news media and car enthusiast websites. The owner was told about the incident, but representatives from Pacific BMW would not say if the the car was returned.

The increasing popularity of YouTube and social media makes it more difficult to get away with joyrides and other wrongdoing, Lorenz said.

“What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas,” he said.

-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Twitter: @LAMarkKellam


Photo: Car enthusiasts saved a YouTube video of Pacific BMW workers allegedly taking a brand new M1 coupe for a high-speed joyride through a South Glendale residential street. Above, the dealership on Brand Boulevard. Credit: Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)

Editor's note: This story has been updated from an earlier version.

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