Authorities have confirmed the presence of a vehicle theft ring headquartered in a scrap yard in southern Illinois after lengthy surveillance of the business. Several local, county and state agencies cooperated together in the investigation that revealed the illegal activity. However, no criminal charges have been filed yet.
The theft ring was discovered after agencies uncovered information that eventually led them to initiate a traffic stop of a truck with an attached trailer as it left the business. They found two stolen vehicles inside the trailer. They also obtained a search warrant for the business, and on Feb. 7, they found two more stolen vehicles and a stolen semi-trailer. In addition, they also discovered stolen fine china worth about $300,000.
Law enforcement personnel continue with the investigation. One agency director indicated that the cooperation of the agencies was one of the keys to the effective task force cooperation. He added that tackling this type of illegal activity helps with law enforcement's goal of community safety. One of the agencies instrumental in the recovery of these stolen vehicles is the Illinois State Police Metro East Auto Theft Task Force. The auto-theft task force focuses on the reduction of the crime by pooling agency resources.
While no charges have yet been filed in this case, the authorities are actively pursuing involved parties. A criminal defense attorney might be able to help someone who is arrested for vehicle theft negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution. In some cases, the courts might dismiss the case, especially if there is not enough evidence to proceed with prosecution. It is also possible that property owners facing charges for their participation in such an operation may not have been aware of what was transpiring on their premises, and a knowledgeable attorney may be able to demonstrate their innocence.
Source: Press Mentor, "Stolen Vehicles and Fine China Recovered," Feb. 11, 2013