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Targeting Auto Theft with a Regional Task Force and Mapping Technology

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 1998
190 pages
This study examines targeting auto theft with a regional task force and mapping technology.
This study evaluates the San Diego, CA, Regional Auto Theft Task Force (RATT) and a computer system to enhance the crime analysis and mapping capabilities of RATT. The study examined data from official records on cases investigated by RATT as well as through traditional law enforcement responses. The Task Force data were used in development of the Crime Analysis and Mapping System (CAMS). The Task Force found that, among other things: (1) Auto theft rings were targeting specific locations; (2) Vehicles in comparison cases were generally recovered in better condition than vehicles involved in RATT investigations; (3) Coordination and cooperation among different levels of government and the private sector were more often evident in RATT cases; (4) Arrest of a suspect was significantly more likely in RATT cases; (5) RATT's most successful strategy was the undercover sting operation; and (6) Source database for CAMS was not always complete, limiting the system's capabilities. The study recommends, among other things: (1)Needs assessments prior to technology development to ensure that implementation will be useful; (2) Making technology understandable to law enforcement personnel; (3) Annual training and monitoring of staff on the appropriate use of technology; and (4) Standardized policies and procedures regarding use and purpose of technology prior to implementation. Tables, notes, figures, references, appendixes

Date Published: April 1, 1998