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Texas law enforcement agencies receive grants to fight motor vehicle crime on the rise

Posted at 3:51 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 16:54:03-04

Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority awarded $13.6 million in funding to help prevent motor vehicle crime that has been on the rise.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, catalytic converter thefts skyrocketed by 326 percent from 2019 to 2020, this includes Central Texas.

The grant from MVCPA will provide support for motor vehicle crime enforcement teams, which will employ experienced investigators to help identify trends, use specialized equipment, and maintain coordination throughout Texas counties that are seeing this crime on the rise.

“The vision of MVCPA is to empower communities to help free Texans from the harm and loss caused by motor vehicle crime,” said Laredo Assistant Chief of Police and MVCPA Board Chair Mike Rodriguez. “Not only the loss an individual faces when their vehicle is stolen but other crimes committed with stolen vehicles like human trafficking and drug smuggling.”

Below are the 24 agencies that applied for grant funding; many of the applications will fund multi-jurisdictional taskforces where agencies will be able to combine their resources to combat motor vehicle-related crime.

MVCPA Grant Recipients

While not many smaller Central Texas law enforcement agencies seem to have applied, according to the list pictured above, the crime is prevalent in this region as well. And, they are still working together to fight the crime; the Waco theft unit worked with Woodway PSD and McLennan County Sheriff’s Office in a joint investigation in September of 2020 to find between 100 to 150 catalytic converters stolen off of vehicles in their community.

Additionally, Taskforces funded by MVCPA were able to make significant efforts in motor vehicle thefts in the Fiscal Year 2020, including recovering 12,860 vehicles, clearing 19,258 motor vehicle theft cases, and arresting almost 4,000 people for motor vehicle theft-related offenses.

For more information about motor vehicle crime prevention, visit MVCPA online.

“These grants allow police departments and sheriff’s offices to directly target criminals who are responsible for staggering financial losses to Texans,” said Dallas Police Lieutenant and MVCPA Board Member Julio Gonzalez.