Customs Officers Crack Down On Stolen Car Shipments

Jul 10, 2023 2 min read
Customs Officers Crack Down On Stolen Car Shipments

Maybe the flow of Americans’ cars will slow?

It’s an unfortunate truth that many of the cars stolen in US cities end up loaded into containers, which are then put on ships bound for other countries. The public is getting pretty fed up with this illegal flow of their hard-earned cash, because after all it doesn’t cost nothing to file an insurance claim and buy a new car. That might be why the US Customs and Border Patrol Protection recently had a news crew follow some of their agents at the port in Savannah, Georgia to show off how they’re cracking down on stolen vehicles being shipped from there.

See a 1971 Chevy Nova SS get pulled out of a shipping container here.

In the report, officials said these cars are shipped by drug cartels. That squares with what we know, flying in the face of the argument that most people stealing vehicles and selling them are just trying to “buy bread for their family.”

Those stolen cars are mostly shipped to countries in Africa and the Middle East, although they sometimes go to other markets. Thanks to the difference in laws or how they’re enforced, those nations can be good markets for vehicles swiped from their owners in the US to be sold again.

Showing off what they do, the CBP agents demonstrated how they flag suspicious containers and run them through an X-ray machine to see if there’s something weird inside. If they still suspect something illegal is inside, that’s when agents open up the container and check the contents.

Often, stolen cars are hidden behind mattresses or other large items in a shipping container with the hope that if the doors are opened and little is moved, the contraband won’t be discovered. We’re pretty sure an X-ray will cut past all that.

Don’t worry, though, the report details out how CBP agents have seized about 46 stolen cars so far. Considering the car theft rates in a lot of major US cities, that’s a trickle, so we’re going to go out on a limb and say a lot of hot vehicles are making it past all that security.

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