A trucking business owner, a Rolls-Royce and the Saudi Royal family – sounds like a bad Eric Roberts movie, doesn’t it?
Thankfully for news reporters, it’s reality.
The owner of one of Seattle’s largest drayage truck companies was recently convicted of stealing a Rolls-Royce sedan that had been stored at the Port of Seattle for nearly a quarter of a century. Imported cars kept in customs for 25 years can achieve “antique” status and be excused from meeting U.S. emissions standards. The owner apparently left the Rolls in storage to take advantage of that regulation.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Eric Rangeloff, 47, took a 1983 Rolls-Royce sedan from a locked storage area at the Port of Seattle in October 2004.
The car’s rightful owner had purchased it from the Saudi Royal family, an ICE news release stated. The Rolls “had been customized for a Saudi Princess,” the ICE news release stated.
A federal jury convicted Rangeloff on Wednesday, July 23.
“ICE is committed to investigating breaches in security at seaports to ensure that this type of vulnerability is not exploited by those who seek harm to the American public,” said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of ICE’s Seattle office of investigations.
Rangeloff is scheduled to appear for sentencing on Nov. 14, 2008. He faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Rangeloff owns Western Cartage, Seattle Bulk Rail and Seattle Transload. Rangeloff even reportedly had a potential buyer lined up for the luxury car: a former police chief.