Last week, deputies found a Maxine Ellisâ€™ Mercedes-Benz SL500 unoccupied in a neighborhood in Sacramento County. The car was returned to Ellis, who lives in Tracy.
The car was missing $12,000 worth of parts, including the stereo and a controller for its convertible top.
Although no fingerprints from the thieves were found in the car, Ellis had met thieves. They were a well-dressed man and woman who posed as buyers, and when Ellis allowed them to take a test drive in her two-seater, they never returned. But they did leave behind an SL500 stolen earlier from a Walnut Creek man. That man had the keys to the stolen car the thieves left behind when they stole his car.
The leapfrogging ring of thefts may have come to an end with the return of Ellisâ€™ car.