LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Capt. Shane Womack provided details to the media regarding an active investigation by the Southern Nevada Auto Theft Task Force.
The task force is comprised of detectives from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Highway Patrol, Nevada Department of Investigations and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
In late 2020, task force detectives began investigating a vehicle identification number (VIN) switching ring that was operating in the Las Vegas area.
The operation involved removing and fabricating VINs and placing them on stolen vehicles.
This was a very complex operation where suspects manufactured fake VIN plates and door stickers that appeared to be factory-issued.
Through the course of the investigation, a total of 28 arrests were conducted.
Eighteen have been arrested locally and the other 10 were apprehended in California and Arizona.
Through a search warrant service, the LVMPD recovered 19 stolen vehicles (total estimated value of over $597,000), seven firearms and a large quantity of illegal narcotics.
The suspects face multiple charges that include Operating a Chop Shop, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, trafficking multiple controlled substances, Prohibited Persons in Possession of Firearms and Forgery-related crimes.