3 people arrested in car theft ring that operated out of North Side shop, BCSO says

SAN ANTONIO – Three men were recently arrested after Bexar County deputies say they conspired with three other suspects in a car theft ring that operated out of a North Side shop.

George Santibanez, 33, Miguel Santibanez, 19, and Ethan Soto, 23, are each charged with engaging in organized crime, records with the Bexar County Jail show.

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Miguel Santibanez is also charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle, and Soto is also charged with theft of a vehicle ranging from $30,000-$150,000.

Arrest warrant affidavits state that BCSO began investigating the suspects because they were allegedly stealing vehicles, removing their engines and installing them in other cars, which were later sold.

The investigation led deputies to a property in the 1000 block of Basse Road, near San Pedro Avenue, on Feb. 27.

Deputies said they found seven stolen vehicles on the property that Miguel Santibanez claimed to be an owner of.

Several car parts were also identified as being stolen, deputies said. One vehicle, a gray Dodge Charger, was in the process of being put together, and that car’s engine was stolen, according to investigators.

The affidavit states George Santibanez and Ethan Soto had been linked to the property, and George Santibanez posted videos and images from inside the shop on social media. Phone records revealed that George Santibanez stated he worked at the shop in an Instagram message, the affidavit states.

On Feb. 26, authorities pulled over Soto because he was driving a vehicle with a tampered VIN, deputies said. That VIN belonged to a Dodge Charger that had been burglarized, and the PCM — one of the vehicle’s main computer systems — had been stolen.

Deputies later discovered that Soto had been shot while stealing a vehicle in 2023.

One suspect in the case, who has not been arrested in Bexar County, posted several “swapped” Chrysler and Dodge vehicles for sale on Instagram at half the amount they were worth.

Deputies said Miguel Santibanez, George Santibanez, Ethan Soto and three others conspired with each other in the operation.

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