Local auto shop owner arrested on charges of alleged auto theft, embezzlement


The Laguna Beach Police Department arrested Laguna Beach Collision Center owner James Michael Ross last week on charges related to alleged auto theft and embezzlement, stemming from six separate LBPD cases, authorities said.

According to a police statement, the LBPD received a report on June 19 that Ross had stolen a vehicle from one of his customers. After an investigation, the detectives located the vehicle the following day and booked Ross on suspicion of stealing a vehicle.

Ross was booked into the Orange County Jail and is being held without bail.

LBPD detectives said they conducted a long investigation and learned that Ross had stolen numerous vehicles that were brought to him for repairs, driven these vehicles for his personal use and then stopped contacting the owners of the vehicles.

The police department statement said the owners were unable to contact Ross or regain possession of their vehicles, prompting them to report the crimes to the LBPD.

Ross was also arrested on alleged auto theft charges around a month earlier and released from custody after posting a $20,000 bail.

The Laguna Beach Collision Center was previously located at 2147 Laguna Canyon Road.

Detectives ask anyone with information regarding this case or additional victims to contact the Laguna Beach Police Department Detective Bureau at 949-715-0984. Those who prefer to provide information anonymously may call “Orange County Crime Stoppers” by dialing 1-855-TIP-OCCS (1-855-487-6227, by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or by using the website, occrimestoppers.org.

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  1. He was a customer of mine. I actually went to him to try to get a fender reflector replaced. He never called me back after he ordered the part so I guess I dodged a bullet.

    What was odd is that he had a bed in the side of his shop and appeared to be living in there.


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