PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Parts of actor John Travolta’s older-model Mercedes were recovered after Santa Monica police officers helped shut down a “sophisticated” car theft ring, authorities said Wednesday.

Using video footage and tips from the public, investigators arrested two men in connection with the theft of Travolta’s 1970 Mercedes 280 SL convertible, which was stolen after the actor parked it on a residential street in Santa Monica last September, said SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis.

The arrests led to the dismantling of the car theft ring, which targeted older-model Mercedes and muscle cars. Pieces of eight vehicles were recovered at various chop shops spread across Los Angeles County, Lewis said.

Santa Monica investigators collaborated with the Taskforce for Regional Auto Theft Prevention (TRAP), which is comprised of “highly specialized” investigators from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, California Highway Patrol, and various other law enforcement agencies in the region, who are experts in organized auto theft rings, Lewis said.

The two men arrested were identified as Michael Green, 58, and DL Rayford Jr., 52; both from Los Angeles. Green was arrested on Dec. 6, and Rayford was taken into custody on Dec. 19.

Lewis said authorities waited until Wednesday to announce the arrests because their investigation into Rayford and Green had been ongoing.

Green is charged with two counts of grand theft auto — involving Travolta’s vehicle and another Mercedes. He is due Feb. 8 at the Airport Branch Courthouse, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.

Green is also facing a probation violation hearing in a petty theft with a prior case in which a 20-year prison term had been suspended, according to Jane Robison of the District Attorney’s Office.

Rayford pleaded no contest to one count of grand theft auto and was sentenced Jan. 5 to 16 months in state prison, Robison said. He was also ordered to pay Travolta $50,000 in restitution, according to court records.

Among the pieces of Travolta’s car that were found were seats, the speedometer, hubcaps and other parts.

Authorities believe that Rayford drove Green’s car after Green allegedly stole Travolta’s Mercedes.

The investigation continues and anyone with information is asked to contact SMPD detectives at (310) 458-8936 or the watch commander at (310) 458-8495. The public may also contact TARP at (818) 830-6977 and ask for LAPD Detective George Molina.

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call the WeTip hotline at (800) 78-CRIME (27463) or submit the tip online at Tipsters can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS, texting from their mobile, or by visiting Callers may remain anonymous and may be qualified to receive a $1,000 reward from Crime Stoppers.

Travolta’s car, which investigators said was worth roughly $35,000, was stolen Sept. 18 while parked on the 1400 block of Berkeley Street. Travolta, who played bad boy Danny Zuko in the cult classic “Greese,” was visiting a nearby Jaguar dealership at the time of the theft. Police said the actor left his car parked for only 10 minutes.

On top of his love of airplanes, the actor is also an avid car collector.

In addition to owning a Rolls-Royce, Mercedes SL 500 and Jaguar XJ6, Travolta counts his classic Thunderbirds among his favorite vehicles.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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