Merolle Crew: Self-Proclaimed 'Untouchable' Thieves

Ray Merolle

Update on Ray Merolle: After escaping conviction for stealing cars by cooperating, he is currently serving the last couple years of a seven-year sentence in Arizona, as the following article, from 2008, relates.

The article also notes that the Merolle car-theft ring was a family affair -- literally, in that it consisted of members of Ray's family. Also, the crew got the nickname the "Untouchables" from itself; meaning they referred to themselves as the Untouchables. There is no mention of the film "Gone in Sixty Seconds," but who knows, maybe the gang made that up by itself, too.

The earliest reference I could find in which Merolle and company were said to be the basis for the film was a 2011 post by ID, in a description of "Love Hurts," which is Love Majewski's episode of "I Married a Mobster."

As for the murder of Ray's brother Keith, one theory floated around was that Keith was having an affair with a married woman whose husband, Vincent Ferro, was in jail. When Ferro got out, he was angry at Keith Merolle. Then one night a pipe bomb was tossed into Ferro's car -- and from the blast, he lost both of his testicles. Ouch!!!

An article that ran in New York magazine in 1995 discusses the Merolle crew, as well as Keith's murder. It notes that John Pappa was among those questioned about the slaying. It also says that it was believed that organized crime may have been involved in Keith's murder due to the fact that brother Ray had been beaten up in 1991 by a group of reputed mobsters, including Joe the Blond Giordano, who was the younger brother of one of John Gotti's main advisors.

Apparently, Ray's beating was the only link to the mob that could be found by investigators when looking into Keith's murder.


Once the self-proclaimed "biggest car thief on Staten Island," a former Graniteville resident is now just another inmate headed for a long stretch in an Arizona prison.

Raymond Merolle Jr. was sentenced today to seven and a quarter years behind bars by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge for theft and arson convictions in the Grand Canyon State. Merolle potentially faced up to 18 and a half years in prison.

In January, an Arizona jury convicted Merolle, then 42, of two counts of theft. They stemmed from the heists of a $300,000, 38-foot "Top Gun" model speedboat and trailer as well as a truck and 30-foot box trailer in separate incidents. The box trailer contained two quad vehicles and a dune buggy, collectively valued at more than $100,000.

Merolle also was convicted of torching a former girl friend's car [wonder who she was!], but was acquitted of stealing it. The auto was a 1997 Acura coupe. Merolle moved to Arizona several years ago.

Merolle gained notoriety more than a decade ago on the Island as a member of The Untouchables gang. The crew allegedly ripped off car dealerships throughout the borough and New Jersey.

The Untouchables, which included Merolle's younger brother, Keith, and other family members, raked in a million dollars a year and gave itself the moniker because they believed they couldn't be caught, authorities said.

They were indicted, however, in 1995, and Keith Merolle was assassinated a month later, the result of a violent love triangle.

Raymond Merolle ultimately was cleared of all auto-theft charges after his testimony in 1997 helped convict gang member Thomas Capace of murder.

Despite his brief alliance with the law, Merolle was soon back working the other side of the street, authorities said.

He was arrested on charges of possessing stolen property in July 1998. Merolle reportedly told cops then, "I'm Ray Merolle. I'm the biggest car thief on Staten Island."