John Travolta's stolen vintage Mercedes recovered in pieces

LOS ANGELES Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:23pm EST

U.S. actor John Travolta arrives on the red carpet for the 46th 'Goldene Kamera' (Golden Camera) awards ceremony at the Ullstein Auditorium in Berlin, February 5, 2011.      REUTERS/Thomas Peter

U.S. actor John Travolta arrives on the red carpet for the 46th 'Goldene Kamera' (Golden Camera) awards ceremony at the Ullstein Auditorium in Berlin, February 5, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Thomas Peter

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Film star John Travolta's vintage Mercedes-Benz, stolen from a Los Angeles suburb, has been recovered in pieces and two men have been arrested, police said on Wednesday.

Travolta's convertible 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280-SL vanished from the street in Santa Monica while the "Pulp Fiction" star was visiting a nearby Jaguar dealership in September.

Michael Green, 58, and D.L. Rayford, 52, were taken into custody in December by members of a law enforcement task force investigating a sophisticated car-theft ring, Santa Monica police Sergeant Richard Lewis said.

"Through the collaborative efforts of investigators ... two individuals were identified as suspects relating to the theft of Mr. Travolta's Mercedes, and were arrested by investigators from the task force," Lewis said.

Lewis said leads developed following the theft led investigators to a "chop shop," where stolen vehicles were found, including parts of the actor's car.

"It was not recovered in whole, it was chopped," Lewis said. "We have numerous pieces recovered but not the entire car."

He said the arrests were not announced earlier to avoid compromising a larger investigation into the car theft ring.

Both Green and Rayford were charged with grand theft auto, a Los Angeles County District Attorney's spokeswoman said.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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