Chapter 15


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Chapter 15

  1. 1. Chapter 15Motor Vehicle Theft Hess 15-1
  2. 2. Introduction• The vehicle, its accessories and the property inside are all targets for thieves• Most people use motor vehicles to travel to work and for pleasure• Recreational vehicles are also targets for theft and burglary• Aircraft and watercraft thefts add to the problems facing police investigators Hess 15-2
  3. 3. Motor Vehicle IdentificationVEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER• Primary, nonduplicated, serialized number• Assigned by manufacturer• Critical to investigations• Identifies specific vehicles Hess 15-3
  4. 4. Classification of Motor Vehicle TheftCATEGORIES• Joyriding• Transportation• Commission of another crime• Gang initiation• Stripping for parts and accessories• Reselling for profit Hess 15-4
  5. 5. Classification of Motor Vehicle TheftJOYRIDING• Generally a younger person• For thrills and excitementTRANSPORTATION• Travel from one point to another at no cost• Kept longer than one stolen for joyriding Hess 15-5
  6. 6. Classification of Motor Vehicle TheftCOMMISSION OF ANOTHER CRIME• Habitual criminals have stolen at least one car in their criminal careers• 150 to 200 times more likely to be in an accidentGANG INITIATION• “Putting in work” Hess 15-6
  7. 7. Classification of Motor Vehicle TheftSTRIPPING FOR PARTS AND ACCESSORIES• Airbag theft• Stealing for chop shopsRESELLING• VIN is almost alwaysaltered or replaced• Exported for resale Hess 15-7
  8. 8. Elements of the CrimeUNAUTHORIZED USE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE• Intentionally taking or driving a motor vehicle  Without the consent of the owner  Or owner’s authorized agent• Check the registration with the state DMV Hess 15-8
  9. 9. Elements of the CrimeINTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION• Dyer Act  Interstate transportation is a federal crime• Thief may be prosecuted in any state• Intent is not required• Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992 Hess 15-9
  10. 10. Motor Vehicle EmbezzlementOVERVIEW• Person who took the vehicle initially had consent• Exceeded the terms of that consent• Does not return it• Fraudulent appropriation of property Hess 15-10
  11. 11. The Preliminary InvestigationOVERVIEW• Time, date and location of the theft• Make, model and color of the vehicle• State of issue of the license plate; license plate number• Direction of travel; description of any suspect• Complainant’s present location Hess 15-11
  12. 12. Insurance FraudVEHICLE CLONING• Stolen vehicles assume the identity of legally owned, or “nonstolen,” vehicles• Stickers and titles to appear legitimate• Multiple vehicles have same VIN• High-end luxury cars are the usual targets of cloning Hess 15-12
  13. 13. Cooperating Agencies in Motor Vehicle Theft FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI) • FBI’s NCIC contains information on stolen vehicles • FBI assists local/state authorities on interstate cases NATIONAL INSURANCE CRIME BUREAU (NICB) • Nonprofit organization • Supported by insurance companies Hess 15-13
  14. 14. Recognizing a Stolen Motor Vehicle or an Unauthorized DriverTECHNIQUES • Hot sheet • Checking system • Learn common characteristics • Check suspicious persons and vehicles • Learn how to question drivers and occupants Hess 15-14
  15. 15. Recovering an Abandoned or Stolen Motor VehicleRECOVERY ISSUES• Hot sheet• Private citizen report• Vehicle recovery report• Consider the vehicle may have been used in a crime Hess 15-15
  16. 16. Combating Motor Vehicle TheftOVERVIEW• Sting operations• Auto theft training• Efforts across jurisdictions• Anti‒car theft campaigns• Increased penalties Hess 15-16
  17. 17. Combating Motor Vehicle TheftLICENSE PLATES• Automatic license plate recognition (ALPR)• PlateScanROUTINE ACTIVITIES• Bait car• Telematic technology Hess 15-17
  18. 18. Combating Motor Vehicle TheftBORDER AREA AUTO THEFT• Near ports or the Mexican or Canadian borders• Policia Internacional Sonora y Arizona (PISA)THEFT OF PATROL CARS• Turning the engine off drains the car’s battery quickly• Technological solutions Hess 15-18
  19. 19. Preventing Auto TheftEFFECTIVE MEASURES• Educational campaigns• Installing antitheft devices• Remove keys from the ignition• Lock vehicles when parked• Immobilizing devices Hess 15-19
  20. 20. Thefts of Trucks, Construction Vehicles, Aircraft and Other Motorized VehiclesTRUCKS AND TRAILERS• Fingerman• SpotterCONSTRUCTION VEHICLES AND EQUIPMENT• Heavy equipment theft is a growing problem• National Equipment Register (NER) Hess 15-20
  21. 21. Thefts of Trucks, Construction Vehicles, Aircraft and Other Motorized VehiclesRECREATIONAL VEHICLES• 450 makes and models of recreational vehicles (RVs)• Many contain CB radios, televisions, and DVDsMOTORIZED BOATS AND JET SKIS• Identification number on the boat’s hull• Determine whether the theft claim is legitimate Hess 15-21
  22. 22. Thefts of Trucks, Construction Vehicles, Aircraft and Other Motorized VehiclesSNOWMOBILES• Easy to steal• Can be transported inside vans and trucksMOTORCYCLES, MOTOR SCOOTERS AND MOPEDS• Lack security devices• Parts are not readily identifiable Hess 15-22
  23. 23. Thefts of Trucks, Construction Vehicles, Aircraft and Other Motorized VehiclesAIRCRAFT• Relatively rare• High-value theft• Used in narcotics smuggling• Highly visible N identification number on fuselage Hess 15-23
  24. 24. Summary• Motor vehicle thefts take much investigative time• Can provide important information on other crimes under investigation• The VIN, critical in motor vehicle theft investigations, identifies the specific vehicle in question• Dyer Act made interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle a federal crime Hess 15-24