Teen steals to fund 'rockstar lifestyle'

Last updated 11:55 10/06/2014
stolen car US
Sanoma County police

LUXURY RIDE: The 2012 McLaren the teen was caught driving, which police say he rented using a stolen credit card.

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An American teen faces criminal charges connected with using stolen credit cards to rent a US$240,000 (NZ$282,000) sports car and a US$12 million vacation home.

Mohannad Halaweh, 19, from California, was charged with vehicle theft and several identity theft-related charges, according to Sonoma County Superior Court records.

"He wanted to live like he was a high roller," Sergeant Michael Raasch said. "He wants to live the rock star lifestyle."

He was arrested last week after deputies stopped him near Santa Rosa after he was seen driving an orange 2012 McLaren which had been reported stolen, Raasch said.

A passenger in the car, 19-year-old Nhimia Kahsay also was arrested on suspicion of outstanding fraud warrants, Raasch added.

Detectives discovered Halaweh used stolen credit cards to rent the sports car for US$13,000 on June 2 and the vacation home in Glen Ellen for US$27,000, Raasch said.

He reportedly rented the sports car from an exotic-car rental company in San Jose. The car rental later discovered he had booked the car with a stolen credit card and reported the theft to authorities, Raasch said.

As detectives investigated Halaweh, they also discovered he rented a vacation home and threw a party that authorities broke up, Raasch said.

Halaweh was known to authorities because he reportedly held similar parties in the past.

He was reportedly arrested in March on suspicion of using a stolen credit card to buy a large amount of electronics from an Apple store, Raasch said.

- LA Times

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