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  In January 1990, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department started a new cargo theft investigative unit named Cargo CATs, the Cargo Criminal Apprehension Team. Cargo CATs is assigned to the Major Crimes Bureau of the Sheriff’s Department’s Detective Division, which oversees the team to ensure the maximum utilization of resources.

The pro-active approach the Department has taken in the past with multi jurisdictional programs to impact the transient career criminal is the same approach that is now being applied to the ever increasing cargo theft problem throughout Los Angeles County and Southern California. The success demonstrated by Cargo CATs has proven that the surveillance and investigative abilities of a multi jurisdictional team exceed that of any single agency. Since Cargo CATs began, it has recovered over $213.5 million in stolen property and made 1275 arrests, through January 1, 2006.

Program Objectives

-Increase arrest, prosecution and conviction of cargo thieves and their receivers.
-Establish a close working relationship with the cargo, transportation, warehousing, and insurance industries.
-Recover and return stolen cargo to the owners.
-Reduce cargo theft property crimes.
-Reduce court costs and time by gathering quality evidence to ensure guilty pleas.
-Develop intelligence information about the stolen cargo redistribution system.
-Act as a resource for cargo theft prevention information.
-Establish a statistical reporting system to accurately reflect the cargo theft situation.
-Enhance coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, as well as cooperation and coordination between prosecutors, law enforcement, and victims.
-Support the enactment of mandatory cargo theft reporting laws, along with development of a statewide cargo theft database.

11515 S. Colima Road, Rm C111, Whittier, CA 90604