U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in the Baltimore Field Office intercepted 239 stolen vehicles during fiscal year 2022 (Oct.1, 2021 – Sept. 30, 2022), taking top spot among all CBP field offices. The vehicles were valued at nearly $11.5 million.
Nationally, CBP recovered 1,235 stolen vehicles during fiscal year 2022 before they could be exported by sea or driven across the United States land borders.
During many of the seizures, CBP officers partnered with special agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), who, along with their state and local law enforcement partners on HSI’s Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) carried out investigations into the stolen vehicles.
The Baltimore Field Office officers seized an additional 73 non-stolen vehicles, which were either unmanifested, possessed fraudulent titles, or violated other export laws. These vehicles were valued at over $2.8 million.
CBP officers routinely inspect imports and exports to ensure that commodities comply with United States laws and safety standards, and international conventions. For outbound vehicles, CBP officers examine vehicle documentation and compare vehicle identification numbers (VIN) against stolen vehicle reports.
“Transnational criminal organizations use stolen vehicles as a form of currency to fund their illicit enterprise, so it is incumbent upon Customs and Border Protection officers and our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to disrupt this illegal trade in stolen vehicles,” said Stephen Maloney, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “Rigorous import and export examinations remain a critical component to CBP’s border security mission and being the top CBP Field Office at recovering stolen vehicles attests to the expertise of our CBP officers, and to our commitment of our enforcement priorities.”
The Baltimore Field Office covers an area from Trenton, N.J., to the Virginia – North Carolina state line, and includes New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Vehicles and other conveyances are exported through busy seaports in the Delaware Valley region, Baltimore and Norfolk, Va.
The following data points offer insight into the Baltimore Field Office’s recovered stolen vehicles during 2022.
• The Baltimore Field Office ranked 1st nationally with 239 recovered stolen vehicles. The vehicles were valued at $11,488,978.
◦ The Area Port of Baltimore ranked #2 nationally with 149 recovered stolen vehicles. The vehicles were valued at $7,397,916.
◦ The Area Port of Norfolk-Newport News recovered 70 stolen vehicles. Norfolk ranked 7th among CBP Ports of Entry. The vehicles were valued at $3,907,667.
◦ The Area Port of Philadelphia and the Port of Wilmington, Del., collectively recovered 20 solen vehicles. The vehicles were valued at $183,395.
• The Baltimore Field Office recovered an average of 178 stolen vehicles for each of the previous five years (890 total). This includes 95 recovered stolen vehicles in FY2021, 157 vehicles in FY2020, 246 vehicles in FY2019, and 110 vehicles in FY2018.
• 95 percent (225 vehicles) were destined to West African nations of Benin, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
• The top-5 destination countries were Sierra Leone (49 vehicles), Togo (43), Ghana (35), Nigeria (27), and Liberia (26). These destinations accounted for 76 percent of recovered stolen vehicles.
• 72 percent (172 vehicles) were from model years 2019 through 2022; 43 percent (102 vehicles) were from 2021-2022.
• 71 percent (169 vehicles) of recovered stolen vehicles were sport utility vehicles.
• The top-5 recovered stolen vehicles were the Land Rover Range Rover (27 vehicles), Toyota 4-Runner (18), Toyota Rav4 (17), BMW X7 (16), and BMW X5 (15).
• The most expensive recovered stolen vehicle was a 2022 Bentley Bentayga, valued at $187,600. CBP officers in Baltimore recovered it before it could be shipped to Togo.
• The oldest vehicle was a 1973 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow recovered in Baltimore and destined to Saudi Arabia. The Silver Shadow was valued at $11,700.
• CBP officers in Wilmington seized the only ATV, a 2016 Honda TRX420FM, destined to Costa Rica.