Police are trying to find the leader of a theft ring targeting rental cars at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. So far, the only man charged in the incident is 18-year-old Liban Yusuf, who made his first court appearance on Tuesday. He was charged with stealing an Avis rental car from the airport this March, and this isn't his first run-in with police. Regardless, he left court with confidence.
"I'm going to fight this as much as I can," he said.
"Their scheme is they go to the rental car place at the airport, they peel off the sticker that says it's a rental car, and then they try to sweet talk their way out of a security area," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.
Freeman said this was all caught on camera and Yusuf did not steal the 2015 Dodge Challenger alone. A man named Said is also in the video, and allegedly the mastermind behind a theft ring, and police are still looking for him. In the criminal complaint, Yusuf told investigators Said routinely pays young men several hundred dollars to help steal vehicles.
On March 18, a few days after Yusuf allegedly stole the Challenger, police stopped him in south Minneapolis along with three other men on suspicion of grand theft auto, but eventually let them go.
Minneapolis cop: 'If you f--- with me, I'm going to break your leg'
They were not in the stolen car, and the story gained notoriety because of what the officer said to one of the men as the ordeal was recorded via smartphone.
"Plain and simple if you f--- with me, I'm going to break your leg before you get a chance to run," the cop can be heard saying in the video.
Minneapolis police continue to investigate that incident. As for the theft ring at MSP, authorities say finding Said is their top priority.
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