The Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority is offering a FREE seven-hour (MPOETC CLEE approved) training course in auto theft and vehicle crimes investigations. It is estimated that 75% of all crimes are committed with a vehicle and vehicles are used in 2/3 of abductions. Whether it is a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, terrorism, auto theft trafficking, or any other crime, it is important for a police officer to be able to identify the vehicle they are interacting with or know the steps necessary to identify it.
This class is ideal for patrol personnel and investigative personnel, as well as police supervisors. It is also a great learning experience for prosecutors who encounter these types of cases and want to gain knowledge.
This class will provide attendees an overview of the importance of vehicle crimes investigations in the overall investigation of crime, and will include the following topics: vehicle identification methods, luxury motor vehicle theft & theft crews, thefts from dealerships, tactics for catching a thief, vehicle infotainment systems, motorcycle & ATV investigations, truck & van cases, and catalytic converter thefts.
The instructor is Cory Rodriguez, who is a supervisory police officer of a major auto theft task force for a state police agency in an adjoining state (his agency’s internal regulations prohibit the use of his title/position/agency name in matters where he does not officially represent the agency). Cory has extensive hands-on experience in the vehicle crimes area and has provided training for many law enforcement agencies and organizations, and is a member of various law enforcement auto theft/vehicle crimes organizations.
We will also be discussing vehicle crimes investigation resources available in Pennsylvania and how to access them.
9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. It All Starts with a Stolen Car
It is estimated that 75% of all crimes are committed with a vehicle and vehicles are used in 2/3 of abductions. Whether it is a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, terrorism, auto theft trafficking, or any other crime, it is important for a police officer to be able to identify the vehicle they are interacting with or know the steps necessary to identify it.
9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Vehicle Identification
Auto Theft & Vehicle Crimes will introduce police officers to vehicle identification number (“VIN”) structure, locations (public, secondary, other), and methods to determine the true VIN of a vehicle. Auto Theft & Vehicle Crimes provides instruction on CARFAX for Police and other resources to verify the validity and history of a vehicle’s VIN. Students will build the knowledge to articulate discrepancies found on a target vehicle’s VIN markings as they relate to the probable cause needed to further their investigation into that specific vehicle. The instructor will use video and photographs to demonstrate secondary VIN locations and common VIN altering techniques.
Students will also learn about tools and equipment that may assist in identifying vehicles.
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Luxury Motor Vehicle Theft & Theft Crew Network
This segment covers the motivating factors driving auto theft and dives into the opportunistic luxury motor vehicle theft scheme involving key fobs being left in vehicles. The instructor will demonstrate the processes theft crews use to scout, locate, and steal luxury motor vehicles. The differences in relay attack and other theft methods will be demonstrated with video examples.
The instructor will use photographs to show common characteristics of stolen vehicles that are hidden in “plain sight”. Students will be able to detail the flow of stolen vehicles from theft location through various fences, and to their final destinations, often involving export overseas.
Each theft crew member’s responsibilities will be explained.
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Thefts from Dealerships
In this instructional block the focus is on the several theft schemes that often target motor vehicle dealerships to include burglaries, key fob swaps, vehicle finance fraud, key programmers, and missing key thefts. An emphasis is placed on the relationship between law enforcement and dealership employees who are partners in preventing these schemes. Officers will gain an understanding of the different theft methods and how to properly investigate each.
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. ATPA Sponsored Catered Lunch
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Catching a Thief
This segment focuses on the statutes and grading related to the motor vehicle theft offenses. The instructor will provide techniques to identify thieves that may operate in several jurisdictions, including the use of social media, surveillance video, and patterns. Numerous videos of car thieves from social media will be shown to illustrate social media’s usefulness in auto theft and vehicle crime investigations. An emphasis in this segment is on sharing information and deconflicting targets. The instructor will demonstrate the availability of law enforcement databases to assist in locating stolen vehicles and the suspect vehicles used to commit the thefts or other crimes. Students will also learn about techniques to use on patrol like roadside interview questions, characteristics of stolen vehicles, and rental vehicle considerations.
Students will learn the fundamentals of boxing/pinching a vehicle to minimize the likelihood of damage to police cars and officer injuries.
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Vehicle Infotainment
This segment focuses on the use of Berla iVe and the iVe mobile application. The instructor will focus on the computer systems available in modern vehicles and the difference between infotainment and telematics. Students will be taught about the information that may be available in specific vehicles, how to identify which system a vehicle has, the legal process needed to access that data, and other investigative avenues that may be explored using the data acquired from the vehicle.
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Motorcycles & All-Terrain Vehicles (“ATV”)
In this instructional block, the instructor focuses on motorcycle and ATV theft trends and schemes. Videos will be used to demonstrate theft methods. The student will learn about VIN locations on motorcycles and ATVs and how to match engine numbers from a motorcycle or ATV to a specific VIN using law enforcement databases.
2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Trucks & Vans
This segment focuses on pickup truck and van thefts. Videos will be shown to demonstrate theft methods. Students will learn why pickup trucks and vans are targeted at such a high rate.
3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Catalytic Converters
This instructor will explain what a catalytic converter is and why they are important to the function of automobiles. Students will learn about the precious metals in catalytic converters as the reason thieves target them. The instructor will teach about ways to defend catalytic converters to include cages, paint, and unique marking systems. Finally, the instructor will provide an overview of stolen catalytic converter case management.