Encouraging All Law Enforcement Professionals to Enforce Statutes Relating to the Fraudulent Purchase, Lease, and Rental of Motor Vehicles

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Encouraging All Law Enforcement Professionals to Enforce Statutes Relating to the Fraudulent Purchase, Lease, and Rental of Motor Vehicles

Resolution

Submitted by: Vehicle Crimes Committee

VCC.20.20

 

WHEREAS, today’s manufactured vehicles are more difficult to steal, as vehicle manufacturers continually improve security features; and

WHEREAS, as a result, today’s criminals have become more technologically sophisticated, which means that they will attempt to acquire vehicles with programmed keys or fobs. This has resulted in a significant increase in theft by criminals fraudulently purchasing, leasing, financing, or renting the vehicles; and

WHEREAS, various methods are used to fraudulently obtain vehicles, including purchase, lease,   financing, or rental methods. These methods include submitting false information to obtain the loan, lease, or rental approval or posing as a straw buyer for an unqualified person. These transactions are not considered to be a failure to return a rental vehicle as contracted but a theft with no intent to ever return the rented, financed, or leased vehicle or pay for the fraudulently “purchased” vehicle; and

WHEEREAS, fraudulently obtained vehicles are frequently used by suspects involved in other crimes as their preferred mode of transportation during other criminal activity; and

WHEREAS, data regarding auto theft arrests supports that approximately 97 percent of individuals arrested in stolen vehicles are charged with another offense; and

WHEREAS, according to industry experts, synthetic ID frauds account for approximately 20 percent of vehicle purchases, resulting in approximately 8 billion dollars in losses annually; and

WHEREAS, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program data, in 2019, there were an estimated 721,885 motor vehicle thefts within the U.S.;88 and

WHEREAS, this type of fraudulently obtained vehicle is generally a new or late model vehicle in perfect condition and is frequently disposed of for large profits by being sold and transferred locally, across state lines, or exported out of the country; and

WHEREAS, vehicles obtained in fraudulent purchases, leases, financing, or rentals have been linked to suspects or criminal organizations involved in other crimes, including but not limited to other vehicle thefts, vehicle title fraud, vessel thefts, drug trafficking, gun smuggling, alteration of vehicle identification numbers, disposing of liened property, use of vehicle by wanted suspect or illegal alien, burglary, robbery, rape, and murder; and

WHEREAS, it is known that not all incidences of fraudulent purchases, leases, finances, or rentals as a theft are considered to be categorized as criminal in nature. This results in the vehicle not being listed as stolen, which, in turn, can negatively affect efforts to reduce these types of crimes and other related crimes; and

WHEREAS, correctly identifying fraudulently purchased, leased, financed, or rented vehicles and entering them as stolen will disrupt one of the criminal’s preferred methods of transportation and help reduce and prevent many other crimes; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) encourages all law enforcement professionalsincluding international, federal, state, and local officers and prosecutorsto enforce existing laws related to the fraudulent purchase, lease, finance, or rental of vehicles; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP encourages all law enforcement professionalsincluding international, federal, state, and local officers and prosecutorsto correctly identify these incidents as criminal rather than civil, resulting in vehicles being correctly identified and entered as stolen, leading to the disruption of criminals’ modes of transportation, increased officer safety, and the detection and reduction of more serious criminal offenses.

 


88 FBI: UCR, “Motor Vehicle Theft.”

Resolution
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