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King County task force busts stolen vehicle operation

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Sep. 2, 2011 at 9:07 am |
September 2, 2011 9:07 am

A King County auto theft task force arrested two men and recovered two stolen vehicles, two stolen boats and five stolen trailers while serving a warrant at a Des Moines home earlier this week.

The activity was the result of a two-month investigation by the PATROL (Preventing Auto theft Through Regional Operational Links) Task Force. The task force, which was formed in September 2008, is comprised of represented from 21 law enforcement agencies in South King and North Pierce counties, a Federal Way police press release states.

Tuesday’s arrests were part of the task force’s investigation into the cloning of vehicles, which occurs when legitimate VIN plates are placed on stolen vehicles, and chop shops in Renton and Des Moines.

During Tuesday’s search of the Des Moines home, investigators found the stolen cars, boats and trailers as well as parts from at least three other stolen vehicles. The two men who were arrested face charges of car theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of stolen charges, the press release states.

It was the second sizable investigation to be wrapped up this week by the task force.

The task force also investigated three men suspected of burglarizing homes, trafficking stolen property and drug possession in Pierce, King and Kittitas counties, the press release states.

Pierce County prosecutors have charged the men with more than 30 crimes. One of them faces 20 charges. Each faces between six and eight years in prison.

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