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Cars Stolen in the US for West Africa Market

Port of Baltimore Director, Adam Rottman has reportedly told pressmen that last fiscal year, they intercepted 149 stolen cars, but in the last three months, that number is already at 70 and may double the total in the last fiscal year. According to him, stolen cars from the District of Maryland, Virginia, and beyond are winding up in shipping containers, headed abroad, and the problem is getting worse.

Rottman  said, “Transnational criminal organizations will make money any way they can, whether it’s drugs, terrorism, human smuggling, selling fake Care Bears, anything they can do to make a dollar,”  “And right now, the market is hot for these stolen cars going over to West Africa.”

These criminals steal the cars, try to quickly remove any manufacturer-installed GPS tracking systems, and race them to the port before they’re reported stolen, often hiding them in containers packed with random household items to conceal the stolen cars. Most of the cars stolen for shipment are high-end models like Land Rovers and BMW SUVs. He said a 2011 Hyundai Elantra that had been reported stolen from a home in Northwest D.C was found at the port recently.

A $75,000 BMW X5, reported stolen by Joe Mazzocchi in New Jersey, was recovered in the Spring of last year.

 Mazzocchi said, “Extremely shocking.” “I mean, I think it was more than 200 miles away from where I left the vehicle, and, according to my insurance company and US Customs, it was found in a container ready to be shipped overseas.”

The police say car thefts have risen by an astonishing 82% last year in the District and have advised residents to report thefts immediately to enable them to intercept the vehicle before it leaves Baltimore. They also advised buying security features like AirTag or Tile to place in their vehicle so officers can better track vehicles that are stolen.

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