Published: 07-28-2023 | Category: Troop L
HEADQUARTERS NEWS RELEASE
July 28, 2023
Auto Theft Investigation Leads to 16 Arrests, 18 Suspects Still Wanted
Baton Rouge – In January of 2022, detectives assigned to the Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud and Auto Theft Unit began investigating disparities in numerous transactions at Public Tag Agencies (PTA) and Auto Title Companies (ATC) across the state. Over the course of the investigation, detectives identified 34 suspects who were found to have collectively transacted 180 vehicles using altered or fraudulent documents. The suspects used the altered or fraudulent documents to undervalue the vehicle’s actual cost to avoid taxes. Detectives also learned that some of these vehicles, previously reported stolen, were located in the civilian market with their identifiers altered or concealed. The total value of vehicles involved in this investigation is currently estimated at over $9.8 million. The total estimated amount of tax fraud is over $300,000.
As detectives continued their investigation, it was learned that these individuals were working together as a criminal organization. Through their actions, the involved parties worked individually and collectively to commit acts of fraud and theft within the State of Louisiana for monetary gain. Louisiana State Police has obtained full extradition arrest warrants for 18 suspects still at large (See attached graphic for suspects still at large). The following 16 individuals have been arrested for the charges of Forgery, Filing False Public Records, and Felony Theft:
Investigations, especially at this scale, take time and a coordinated team effort. The Louisiana State Police would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance throughout this investigation; Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles, Louisiana Department of Revenue, National Insurance Crime Bureau, Houston Police Department (TX), Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (TX), and numerous other local law enforcement agencies. Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the Louisiana State Police – Insurance Fraud and Auto Theft Unit (Breaux Bridge Field Office) at (337) 332-8080 or via email at LSP.Insurance.Fraud.Unit@la.gov. This investigation is still on-going and additional charges for all involved parties may be forthcoming.
TFC William Huggins
Louisiana State Police
Public Affairs Section
Office: (985) 893-6250