LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — In a news conference on Monday, Las Vegas police said 28 arrests were made in connection with an auto theft ring across Clark County.
According to LVMPD Captain Shane Womack of the Theft Crimes Bureau, authorities made “many, many arrests” in connection with profit-based auto thefts in the Las Vegas Valley.
Womack said that at the end of 2020, police launched an investigation into a VIN-switching operation which came to a head June 18 regarding a search warrant served in the Spring Valley area.
Womack helps oversee a regional auto theft task force known as the Vehicle Investigation Project for Enforcement and Recovery (VIPER).
“It’s sole mission is to counter auto theft for profit,” Womack said. “So, VIN-switching, chop shops, transportation of vehicles across state lines.”
- 18 felony arrests in Nevada, 10 in California
- 152 felony charges
- 19 stolen recovered vehicles (VIN-switched)
- $600,000 worth of vehicles
- 7 firearms, including assault rifles
- thousands of rounds of ammunition
- 3 1/2 lbs. of methamphetamine
- 2,500 pills of fentanyl
- 6 lbs. of marijuana-concentrate
- 20 grams heroine
- $15,000 in cash
- fake credit cards and IDs
- machinery for forgery
- thousands of dollars in counterfeit currency
In partnership with the National Insurance Crime Bureau and task force members from Arizona and California, police were able to apprehend more than a dozen suspects, some of whom fled state lines.
“This is an excellent example of the resources not just in Southern Nevada, but in the entire state, and everybody working to combat crime,” Womack said. “This is also a great example for the public to see the correlation of auto theft as well as other major felonies and violent crime.”
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