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Motor Vehicle Theft Mike Steeves La Junta Police Department La Junta, CO 81050 Objectives Go to page 539, Criminal Investigation Be able to answer the questions in “Do You Know?” Know the definitions Motor Vehicle Identification

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motor vehicle theft

Motor Vehicle Theft

Mike Steeves

La Junta Police Department

La Junta, CO 81050

objectives
Objectives
  • Go to page 539, Criminal Investigation
  • Be able to answer the questions in “Do You Know?”
  • Know the definitions
motor vehicle identification
Motor Vehicle Identification
  • The VIN is the primary, non-duplicated, serialized number assigned by the manufacturer to each vehicle made.
  • This number, critical in motor vehicle theft investigations, identifies the specific vehicle in question
motor vehicle theft law enforcement act of 1984
Motor Vehicle Theft Law Enforcement Act of 1984
  • Requires manufacturers to put the 17 digit VIN on 14 specified component parts
  • Engine
  • Hood
  • Transmission
motor vehicle theft law enforcement act of 19845
Motor Vehicle Theft Law Enforcement Act of 1984
  • Both front fenders
  • Both front doors
  • Both bumpers
  • Both rear quarter panels
  • Both rear doors
  • Deck lid, hatch panel, or tailgate
other numbers used optional
Other Numbers Used (Optional)
  • Engine Number. May or may not be the same as the VIN
  • Engine Production Code Number. Assigned to groups of engines having identical characteristics produced at a specific plant during a specific period
other numbers used optional7
Other Numbers Used (Optional)
  • Unit Production Code Number. Assigned to rear axles or transmissions.
classification
Classification
  • Joyriding
  • Transportation
  • Stripping for parts and accessories
  • Using to commit another crime
  • Reselling for profit
colorado statute
Colorado Statute
  • 18-4-409 Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft
    • 1st Degree
    • 2nd Degree (AKA ‘joyriding’)
  • 85% of the vehicle thefts in this country are by juveniles out joyriding
  • Joyriding is a misdemeanor
tangent
Tangent
  • If 85% of the thefts nationwide are misdemeanors….what is the necessity for high speed pursuits after a stolen car?
  • I mean…who gives a rat’s rosy red one? Is it worth dying or killing for?
elements of the crime
Elements of the Crime
  • Intentionally taking or driving
  • A motor vehicle
  • Without the consent of the owner or the owner’s authorized agent
  • “Motor Vehicles” defined in 18-4-109 (1)(1)
motor vehicle embezzlement
Motor Vehicle Embezzlement
  • If the person who took the vehicle initially had consent and then exceeded the terms of that consent
  • I’ve never seen this one in Colorado
interstate transportation
Interstate Transportation
  • Dyer Act made interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle a federal crime
  • Also includes aircraft
interstate transportation dyer act
Interstate Transportation - Dyer Act
  • The motor vehicle was stolen
  • Transported in interstate commerce or foreign commerce
  • Person transporting or causing to be transported knew it to be stolen
  • Person receiving, concealing, selling, or bartering knew it to be stolen
out of state
Out-of-state
  • What does CRS have to say about taking a Colorado car out of state?
preliminary investigation
Preliminary Investigation
  • Take the usual information. The only difference is that you have a motor vehicle as the stolen property. Make sure you completely describe the victim vehicle - to include registration information, VIN, color, MMY, and any other pertinent details
false reports
False Reports
  • Little Bobby took the car and dumped it in downtown Denver, then hitched a ride back. Easy transport up, saves mummy and daddy getting mad at little Bobby
  • The RepoMan got it
insurance fraud
Insurance Fraud
  • The owner can park it in the mall with the keys in it…or
  • The owner can have it burned
  • When you get a theft or destruction of a fairly high dollar vehicle - one that has payments still due on it…pay close attention to the owner
national automobile theft bureau
National Automobile Theft Bureau
  • Nonprofit organization funded by more than 400 insurance companies
  • Five divisions and several branch offices in the US, Mexico, and Canada
  • Stores and shares information on several million wanted or stolen cars
recognizing the stolen car
Recognizing the Stolen Car
  • The ‘characteristics’ shown on page 550 are well and good, but some are nothing more than a profile… and we should know by now what profile stops will get you
  • Go with physical oddities that constitute good reasonable suspicion or probable cause
recognizing the stolen car21
Recognizing the Stolen Car
  • Use those bits, plus your observations of the driver and the driver’s demeanor, and your experience, to develop good reason to stop the car and probe more deeply
recovering an abandoned or stolen vehicle
Recovering an Abandoned or Stolen Vehicle
  • Most are recovered within 48 hours. That makes sense, given that the vast majority of cars are stolen by juvenile joyriders
  • Joyriders notwithstanding, you should approach a recovered stolen car as though it’s a crime scene of more significance
recovering an abandoned or stolen vehicle23
Recovering an Abandoned or Stolen Vehicle
  • Would it not be a kick in the buns to discover that the car you recovered was used in a double homicide in New Mexico?
  • How do you know?
  • You don’t.
recovering an abandoned or stolen vehicle24
Recovering an Abandoned or Stolen Vehicle
  • Before getting into the car or otherwise messing with it, check with the originating agency to see if it needs to be secured for investigators.
preventing motor vehicle theft
Preventing Motor Vehicle Theft
  • Effective educational campaigns for the public are most effective
  • See the list of suggestions on page 553
thefts of other types of motor vehicles
Thefts of Other Types of Motor Vehicles
  • Trucks and trailers - usually stolen by professionals. The cargo is usually the target
  • Construction vehicles and equipment. Parts are easily sold and there is no organized ID system for the equipment or components
thefts of other types of motor vehicles27
Thefts of Other Types of Motor Vehicles
  • Recreational vehicles also contain high dollar accessories. Very popular in Mexico…so much so that some Mexican police departments use stolen Gringo RV’s and SUV’s for their patrol fleet
thefts of other types of motor vehicles28
Thefts of Other Types of Motor Vehicles
  • Motorized boats, especially on trailers. ID’s are on the hull someplace. The Coast Guard requires boats of certain classes and sizes to be marked with ID numbers above and beyond registration stickers
thefts of other types of motor vehicles29
Thefts of Other Types of Motor Vehicles
  • Snowmobiles use chassis and VIN numbers. These little winners, like personal watercraft, are easy to hide in trailers and vans
  • Motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds
    • Hell, just pick it up and take it away
    • They all have some kind of ID system
summary
Summary
  • See page 556
  • Checklist on page 556
  • Discussion questions on page 558