#6134 - 06/30/2306:09 AMStolen C8s using Cloned VIN IDs
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Joined: Dec 2000
The Louisville Metro Police Department is taking some huge swings lately and it’s landing them too. In an investigation dubbed “Operation Havana Highway,” it just arrested six people and recovered approximately 30 vehicles. In total, they’re preliminarily valued at above $3,100,000.
The LMPD says that its 6th Division Impact detectives executed a number of search warrants on June 19. All stemmed from a long-term investigation surrounding a criminal enterprise car theft ring. It found stolen cars from across the nation in addition to three car haulers, a travel trailer, and a boat. Included on the list are high-end rides from Bentley, Maserati, and BMW. On top of that, it found marijuana and cocaine too.
The department showed off the haul in a video we’ve embedded below. Set to music from what sounds like a mid-2010s amateur dubstep competition, the LMPD lays out all of the cars it seized in the bust with Powerpoint-esque graphics. Police say the suspects involved use a special type of VIN cloning. The process includes creating a new set of VIN identifiers on a stolen vehicle that coincides with a legitimate vehicle. Then they can register the vehicle, sell it, or keep it and drive it without it coming back as stolen through a VIN search.
“We found that the cars were being cloned with new VINs and it was almost impossible for us on the street to be able to detect that the cars were stolen because if you were to run the license plate, it would come back to the car,” said LMPD Det. Brian Reccius.
Notably, the Louisville Metro Police Department hasn’t named any suspects at this point. It has charged “several people” but hasn’t released details on exactly what those charges are or how big this criminal organization is. Local news organization WDRB found that public court documents shed some light on those details. Three of the individuals have now been named. Each is charged with obscuring the identity of a machine of $10,000 or more and receiving stolen property.
A sophisticated high-dollar-car theft ring involving at least two C8 Corvettes has been broken up by the Louisville (Kentucky) Metro Police Department. Authorities say the suspects cloned VIN numbers to avoid detection of the crimes, stealing a black and a Torch Red C8 among other expensive vehicles like Bentleys, Maseratis, and BMWs.
The crooks created a new set of VIN identifiers on a stolen vehicle that coincided with a legitimate vehicle – allowing them to register the vehicle, sell it, or keep it and drive it without showing up as stolen if a VIN search was initiated.
Known as “Operation Havana Highway,” the long-term investigation conducted by 6th Division Impact detectives involving three states (Kentucky, Florida, and Texas) has already resulted in six arrests and recovery of some 30 vehicles, along with three car haulers, a travel trailer, and a boat, along with marijuana and cocaine.
The process includes creating a new set of VIN identifiers on a stolen vehicle that coincides with a legitimate vehicle. Then the thieves were able to register the vehicle, sell it, or keep it and drive it without it coming back as stolen.