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 said they conspired with three other suspects in a car theft ring that operated out of a North Side store.

George Santibanez, 33, Miguel Santibanez, 19, and Ethan Soto, 23, are each charged with participation in organized crime, according to Bexar County Jail records.

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 to $150,000.

Arrest warrant affidavits say BCSO began investigating the suspects because they allegedly stole vehicles, removed their engines and installed them in other cars, which were then sold.

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

Deputies said they found seven stolen vehicles on the property that Miguel Santibanez claimed to own.

Several car parts were also identified as stolen, deputies said. One vehicle, a gray Dodge Charger, was being assembled and its engine was stolen, according to investigators.

The affidavit says George Santibanez and Ethan Soto were connected to the property, and George Santibanez posted videos and images from inside the store on social media. Phone records revealed that George Santibanez said he worked at the store in an Instagram message, the affidavit states.

On Feb. 26, authorities stopped Soto because he was driving a vehicle with a falsified VIN, deputies said. This VIN belonged to a Dodge Charger that had been broken into and the PCM – one of the vehicle’s main computer systems – had been stolen.

Deputies later discovered Soto was shot while stealing a vehicle in 2023.

A suspect in the case, who has not been arrested in Bexar County, posted several “traded-in” Chrysler and Dodge vehicles for sale on Instagram for half their value.

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

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