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Multi-Agency Task Force Leads to Major Arrests in Auto Theft and Drug Investigation

San Bernardino, Calif. – Over recent months, the San Bernardino County Auto Theft Task Force (SANCATT) has led an extensive investigation into a series of auto thefts and cargo thefts from trains. This complex operation culminated on June 20, 2024, with a multi-agency effort spanning three counties in California and one location in Arizona.

The collaborative operation included personnel from various law enforcement agencies, such as the California Highway Patrol-Inland Division, San Bernardino Police Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (SBSD), National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Riverside Auto Theft Interdiction Detail (RAID), Orange County Auto Theft Task Force (OCATT), Task Force for Regional Auto Theft (TRAP), Riverside Sheriff’s Department, Rialto Police Department, California Department of Insurance, San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Roadway (BNSF), and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Significant Seizures and Arrests

To date, the investigation has resulted in:

  • 51 arrests
  • Recovery of 20 stolen vehicles
  • Seizure of 20 firearms
  • Confiscation of 48 gallons of liquid methamphetamine and 425 pounds of crystal methamphetamine
  • Discovery of one clandestine methamphetamine lab
  • Recovery of $325,000 in U.S. currency and over $8 million in stolen cargo

The individuals arrested have been booked at the SBSD West Valley Detention Center. Charges include felonies related to train burglaries, conspiracy, tampering with vehicle identification numbers (VIN-switched vehicles), methamphetamine lab operation, methamphetamine sales, child endangerment, and possession of assault weapons.

Ongoing Investigation

This investigation remains active and ongoing. The efforts highlight the extensive coordination required among multiple agencies to combat organized crime effectively. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) played a significant role in this operation, emphasizing their commitment to providing the highest level of safety, service, and security to California’s residents.

About California Highway Patrol

The California Highway Patrol’s mission is to ensure the safety and security of the public through diligent law enforcement and inter-agency collaboration. Their involvement in this recent operation showcases their dedication to addressing and preventing crime at all levels.

Authorities continue to investigate the extent of the criminal activities involved. The California Highway Patrol and other participating agencies remain vigilant in their efforts to bring all individuals connected to these crimes to justice.

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