- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say two men are in custody in connection with the theft of more than 50 import vehicles in Tempe and Mesa over the last few months.

The Arizona Auto Theft Authority Task Force along with state Department of Public Safety and Mesa police made the arrests.

DPS and AATA detectives identified 38-year-old Benjamin Jaco Appell as a suspect in the case last month.

They also linked 28-year-old Mario Esteban Jimenez to Appell as part of the investigation.

Authorities say Jimenez was allegedly seen driving a stolen vehicle in Mesa.

They say both men are being held on suspicion of several counts of theft of a means of transportation, conspiracy, trafficking in stolen property and drug charges.

It was unclear Monday if either Appell or Jimenez has a lawyer yet.

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