Apex Protect GPS
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Device helps investigators track down stolen trucks taken to Mexico
BY ANDREW LOFHOLM, NEWS 4 SAN ANTONIO | TUESDAY, AUGUST 30TH 2016
BOERNE, Texas — A multi-country investigation into a stolen pickup truck leads the Mexican Military right to 10 trucks, mostly from the San Antonio area that are now in the process of being recovered. One of the trucks came from the Dodge dealership in Boerne, and something inside that truck proved to be the key to tracking them down. At about 8:20 p.m. on Saturday August 20th, workers saw what they thought was one of their trucks taken from the lot. A short pursuit later, that driver, a 15-year-old San Antonio boy, was arrested a few exits down I-10. Little did they know at the time, a 2nd truck was also taken. By the time Boerne Dodge realized the second truck was taken, it was in Mexico. They had done an audit on their inventory two days after the incident.
It’s gone, right? Well not so fast says these two.
The Kendall County Sheriff’s Office called on over 32 years of experience to crack the case: Investigator Roy Laubach and Crime Analyst Tara Cantu. “We were able to track that vehicle down to San Antonio. And that’s where Tara picked up the ball and started running with it,” says Laubach. The truck was equipped with an APEX GPS device. Apparently the thief missed the memo on the driver’s side window. Or maybe he was calling their bluff.
With the help of the Fusion Center and APEX sending updates to Tara, Tara was the mouse and the stolen Dodge Ram 1500 was the cheese. “Every hour, 2, 3, 4, 5…I’m like, okay where are we going, what do we do, where’d he leave off, this what we know, just all day,” Cantu says. The exact route taken seen on the APEX provided map: first east on I-10, onto 410, and then 35 south into Laredo and into Nuevo Laredo. Cantu called her connections at the Border Patrol and Laredo Police where she got photos of the truck entering Mexico complete with stolen Alamo Heights plates and the guy driving it. APEX’s detailed map outlines everywhere the truck went. In one day it was driven over 300 miles in Mexico. Here’s one spot the truck was going 68 miles an hour on the 27th, according to APEX.
“It was constantly moving. That why we couldn’t get it to stop,” the duo says. But finally the truck stopped moving at a car lot later on the 27th. At the request of Laredo Police, the Mexican Military moved in and landed on the bee’s nest. The stolen Ram along with 9 other stolen, newer pickup trucks were found. All but one from San Antonio. Laubach and Cantu’s hunt was over. “Awesome,” Cantu recalls. “We don’t looks at this as a bee’s nest, we look at this as an Easter basket,” Laubach says. “For us to be able to regain these losses and so quickly. It is very rewarding.” Cantu’s message to any potential future car thieves: “Don’t do it in Kendall County.” The 15-year-old who was arrested isn’t talking. Investigators are still trying to learn more out about the lot where they were found. If you recognize the man in the photo crossing at the border, call Kendall County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-348-5323 (LEAD). Any info that leads to an arrest can earn you up to $5,000. By Andrew Lofholm
Search for stolen truck leads deputies to Mexican crime ring
Thieves driving stolen Texas trucks into Mexico before reported stolen
By Concetta Callahan – Anchor/Reporter
BOERNE, Texas – The search for a stolen truck from a Boerne dealership lead sheriff’s deputies into Mexico. U.S. law enforcement agencies, who along with the Mexican military, helped locate nearly a dozen stolen vehicles from the San Antonio area.
Deputies now have reason to believe there’s a big business stolen car ring operating in the area.
“It is very organized. This is many people. It has to be,” said Tara Cantu, Kendall County crime analyst, about an incident that happened on August 20.
Employees at Boerne Dodge heard tires screeching. When they went to see what was going on, they witnessed two Dodge trucks being driven away.
Deputies were able to chase one of the vehicles down. Behind the wheel was a teenager.
“They apprehended a 15-year-old juvenile in a red Dodge. That was one of the brand new ones off the lot. The other truck that was with him got away,” Cantu said.
Investigators used the GPS tracking device on the other truck, and it was showing that it was in Mexico the next morning.
“The next day, it stayed in one location for multiple hours, and then the plate was stolen between 7-7:30 a.m. They left for Mexico by 7:41 a.m. and crossed the border by 10:26 a.m.”
The Kendall County Sheriff’s Office had been dealing with experienced criminals, so they asked a number of law enforcement agencies to get involved, including the San Antonio Fusion Center, the Laredo Police Department, Border Patrol and even the Mexican military.
Border Patrol had video of the stolen Dodge crossing the border and a good look at the man in the driver’s seat. He appears to be young, has a tattoo on his upper-left arm and long sideburns.
The Mexican military used the GPS location provided to them by Kendall County. When they went to retrieve the vehicle, to everyone’s surprise, they found a lot full of stolen vehicles out of Texas.
“It was along with nine others. Eight out of San Antonio and one out of Brazoria County,” Cantu said. “One was stolen the day it was recovered from San Antonio. That’s how quickly they got down there. They’re stealing these plates at a certain time and getting there so quickly, before they’re even reported stolen. Like, if they do it at night, people don’t wake up till the next morning, so they’re getting across the border while the plates are still good.”
Anyone with information about the man driving the stolen truck into Mexico is asked to call the Kendall County Crimestoppers hotline at 1-800-348-5323. A reward is being offered for any tip that leads to his arrest.
Original Copyright 2016 by KSAT – All rights reserved.
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