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Cleveland, OH; Columbia, SC; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Las Vegas, NV; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; Memphis, TN; Miami, FL; Mobile, AL; Oklahoma City, OK; Omaha, NE; Pittsburgh, PA; Sacramento, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Antonio, TX; San Diego, CA; San Juan, PR; Springfield, IL; St. Louis, MO; Tampa, FL.
Operation Sudden Stop is bringing car thieves in 22 cities to a screeching halt. The Operation includes state and federal agents and the National insurance Crime Bureau. Aimed at decreasing auto theft in the US, the investigation used surveillance, informants, wiretaps and undercover operations.
In 1997, the last year we have statistics for, 1.4 million vehicles were stolen and approximately one in three was never recovered. The Customs Service and FBI estimate that at least 200,000 of the stolen vehicles, representing over $1 billion, were shipped overseas.
The largest concentration of suspects, almost 100, are believed to be operating in the San Antonio area. Police believe that thieves were “shopping” for specific cars, stealing them and driving them across the border into Mexico. Asian and Russian organized crime gangs also figure heavily in the problem.
One of the primary reasons for the recent crackdown in auto theft is the arrest rate. Only 14 percent of auto thefts result in an arrest – the lowest percentage rate for any major crime.
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