Authorities Report a Rash of Stolen Vehicles Near the Border


LAREDO, TX – Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents recovered three vehicles used for human smuggling while working their assigned duties near Cotulla, Texas.  Two vehicles were identified as stolen, while the third was a cloned to appear as a fleet vehicle for an oil and energy company.  All three vehicles are believed to have been used in criminal activity.

The first incident occurred late afternoon on February 26, when agents from the Cotulla Station responded to suspicious activity involving a white Dodge Ram.  Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) was advised, encountered the vehicle traveling north on Interstate Highway 35 (IH-35), and attempted to conduct a vehicle stop.  The vehicle failed to yield and drove through a ranch perimeter fence before the occupants fled into the brush.

The second incident occurred several minutes later when agents who responded to assist with the initial incident were searching the nearby area.  These agents encountered an unoccupied white Ford F-150 which at first, appeared to be an oil and energy company fleet vehicle.  Records checks on the vehicle did not indicate that it was reported stolen but verified that it was not a fleet vehicle.  La Salle County Sheriff’s Office (LSCSO) was notified and responded.

A second stolen vehicle was encountered during the morning of February 27, when Cotulla Station agents responded to suspicious activity involving a separate white Dodge Ram.  DPS and Frio County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) were notified.  FCSO and DPS encountered the vehicle before it drove through a ranch fence and was lost in the brush.  Agents arrived on scene and apprehended five subjects hiding in the brush nearby who were identified as Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States.  The vehicle was later found abandoned.

Border Patrol Cloned Vehicle (Contributed/CBP)

Border Patrol Cloned Vehicle (Contributed/CBP)

All vehicles encountered were turned over to state and local law enforcement agencies.

Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents frequently encounter stolen vehicles involved in criminal activities, including human smuggling.  These vehicles are usually reported stolen out of San Antonio, New Braunfels, Austin, and other Texas cities.  The Laredo Sector Border Patrol relies on strong partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies to combat this aspect of human smuggling.  The cooperation between our local law enforcement partners in our communitiescontinue to have a great impact to criminal element, making our communities safer.  

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