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Motor Vehicle Police Working Hard to Put the Brakes on Car Thieves

Motor Vehicle Police Working Hard to Put the Brakes on Car Thieves

Posted - Sep. 26, 2003 at 4:32 p.m.



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Sandra Yi ReportingEven if your car isn't worth much, it could still be valuable to thieves. The Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division has recovered nearly 50 cars this month from a new hummer to older model cars.

Even with security cameras rolling thieves hit a car dealership last week, taking a Mazda, a Honda Civic, and a BMW. Motor Vehicle Police are working hard to put the brakes on such crimes. This month they've recovered twice as many stolen cars than usual.

Anjelica Guanuna: "It's a bad feeling you have because they have taken something that is yours that you worked hard for. It's a confusion of feelings. You're mad, you're sad, you're everything."

The lot is full again today at Farid's Auto Sales. The three cars stolen last week were recovered with only minor damages.

The Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division has recovered 47 stolen cars this month alone. They include high-end cars, like Hummers, to more affordable models like Ford Escorts, totaling half a million dollars. And the thieves usually aren't one-time criminals.

Lt. Tim Fletcher, Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division: "Of the arrests that we've made, I would say probably 75% of the time that we arrest somebody for possession of a stolen vehicle, it is also possession of drugs."

In one instance, a suspect had more than 50 bundles of heroin. Other drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine are common.

Lt. Tim Fletcher: "It seems like they're using the cars to transport some of their drugs."

Motor Vehicle Police are noticing other trends. They say now there are smaller, more organized car theft rings. Also, thieves are not only targeting dealerships, but people who may leave their garage doors open. These are crimes motor vehicle police are cracking down on, aggressively.

Lt. Tim Fletcher: "I think our message would be, you better look over your shoulder because you never know where we're going to be."

Another suspect was caught this week after he led authorities on a high-speed chase near Cedar City.

Authorities say you should always know where your car is, as it only takes hours before it can be destroyed.

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