GTA: Grand Theft America

More than Property Risks
David Perez was in a supermarket when SUV was stolen and the thief sped it away at 100mph, along with his 11-year-old child. Source: Newsweek1

The FBI’s comprehensive dataset1 of 11 million criminal offenses presents a notable surge in property-related offenses such as motor vehicle theft. Although violent incidents across the country declined in 2022, carjacking remains a complex incident within violent crimes for investigators. Successful auto theft perpetrators are a special type of criminal to investigate because of their sophisticated ability to navigate multiple, demanding challenges swiftly and under pressure, blending opportunism with calculated actions. And their modus operandi is repeatable, which presents a public safety risk when these criminals are not caught. Oftentimes, they are also aggressive. They are also beginning to work in groups2.

Carjacking combines aspects of robbery and vehicle theft, requiring considerable planning and adding subtlety to its complexity. While specialized units within larger agencies often investigate auto theft cases, cases involving vehicle theft at gunpoint are typically handled by robbery or (worst) homicide units when the incident results in fatalities. When Lee Alexander Thomas was shot multiple times at a Largo gas station as teenagers drove off with his BMW3, the theft became a murder case. This interdepartmental passthrough complicates the investigation and almost disconnects it from its property theft classification. On the flip side, auto theft detectives also possess specialized expertise that can aid homicide investigators in carjacking-related murder inquiries, offering crucial support and knowledge. Auto theft investigations may have specialized training and experience in VIN tampering and restoration, chop shop infiltration for organized crimes, and even auto theft photography.

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Auto theft investigations require case vetting through unfounded incidents for legitimate reports, maintenance of expert documentation that reveals crime patterns in the region, and coordinated trend monitoring for recovery of the vehicle. Investigators are constantly under pressure to help the victims whose suffering doesn’t end with the lost vehicle – it may be their only transport and affects their ability to work, provide for their family, and even take care of their loved ones.

Having DX360°® Investigative Case Manager (ICM) in your arsenal can help with expediting the investigation and restoring justice for victims sooner. With easy mobile access and intelligent smart data analytics, it helps investigators expedite their research and receive timely, critical information as they’re out in the field collecting evidence. DX360°® ICM can help investigators analyze trends by aggregating and analyzing related data, detect related criminal activity based on regions or suspect groups, and organize evidence to prepare for arrest, indictment, and prosecution. Request a personalized demo of DX360°® Investigative Case Manager (ICM) today:

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