The Madhya Pradesh police has busted an interstate vehicle theft ring spread across at least four States and has recovered luxury vehicles worth over Rs. one crore.

The racket came to light on Tuesday during a routine vehicle check in Dewas district under directions from senior officials from Ujjain.

The vehicle theft ring was operating out of Thane and Indore and was particularly active in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, Ujjain range IG Upendra Jain told The Hindu.

Its members worked by stealing luxury vehicles from these States and then registering them as new with transport authorities, using forged sales and ownership documents.

So flawless was the gang's modus operandi that it succeeded in fooling officials of various District Transport Offices (DTOs) in the State, which even issued new smart registration cards for the stolen vehicles.

“Several such stolen vehicles, registered as new based on fake documents, were being used in various offices and business establishments across Madhya Pradesh,” said Mr. Jain.

The police seized 17 vehicles from the gang’s possession, including a Mitsubishi Pajero, a Yamaha superbike, a Tata Safari and several models of Mahindra Bolero and Tata Indigo.

The police have arrested two members of the gang and have launched a manhunt to nab the rest of the members.