In what industry officials are calling the largest theft ring in their
company’s history, detectives seized more than 35 stolen vehicles, heavy
equipment and recreational vehicles during a 10-hour search warrant
operation late Monday (Jan. 11) in Los Angeles County, Calif.
The find came following a LoJack Corp. stolen vehicle recovery
system hit near the Interstate 5 Golden State Freeway and Templin
Highway on Monday morning, according to KHTS radio in Santa Clarita.
The deputies followed the hit to a remote 60-acre property in a
rural area of northern Los Angeles County. Near the location, in the
31000 block of Faimham Street in Castaic, deputies discovered a Bobcat
Skid-Steer Loader that had been stolen from Mission Cemetery in Mission
Hills on Jan. 5. Deputies could see other suspected stolen vehicles in
the area and detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station
and the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Task Force for Regional
Auto Theft Prevention (TRAP) were called in.
A search warrant was obtained and after a 10-hour operation,
involving more than 15 detectives and sheriff’s personnel, investigators
recovered vehicles and other items they believe to be stolen. All told,
the property and vehicles had a value estimated at well over $1
million. During the investigation, detectives found and recovered 35
vehicles and countless other items including motorhomes, John Deere and
Kawasaki Mule utility vehicles and even an Airstream Inc. camping
trailer reported stolen out of Santa Clarita more than three years ago.
The detectives also recovered two boats and several trailers
with missing or altered identification numbers. The discovery included
boat, utility, flatbed, recreational vehicle, box, car carrier, water
tank, construction and other trailers. Also recovered were two heavy
duty Caterpillar tractors, generators, construction equipment, welders
and off-road vehicles.
“This prolific theft ring bust underscores the ongoing role
organized crime plays in the theft of assets such as construction
equipment and vehicles,” said Patrick Clancy, vice president of law
enforcement, LoJack Corp. “We are proud that our proven technology and
processes were able to help detectives with the Los Angeles County
Sheriff’s Department and TRAP (Task Force For Regional Auto Theft
Prevention) West dismantle one of the largest theft rings in LoJack’s
“This is a substantial discovery when LoJack officials are
calling it one of the largest in their history,” said Capt. Anthony La
Berge of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. “I am proud of our
patrol deputies and their daily proactive efforts to keep our community
safe,” concluded La Berge.
The investigation is ongoing. No arrests have been made at this
time and detectives are describing the property owner as a person of
interest. There is no further information available at this time.