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Baltimore CBP Recovers Three Stolen Vehicles Bound for Africa

Release Date: 
November 28, 2017

BALTIMORE – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recently recovered three stolen vehicles in Baltimore that were being shipped to Africa, including two premium 2017 models.

The vehicles included:

  • 2017 Infiniti QX80 recovered November 20, which was reported stolen from Baltimore and bound for Abidjan, Ivory Coast;
  • 2017 Chevrolet Silverado High Country recovered November 20, which was reported stolen in Leesburg, Va., and also bound for Abidjan; and
  • 2015 Honda Accord recovered November 14, which was reported stolen in Chicago and bound for Lagos, Nigeria.

Baltimore CBP officers intercepted this stolen 2017 Infiniti QX80 November 20, 2017 before it could be shipped to the Ivory Coast.
Baltimore CBP officers intercepted
this stolen 2017 Infiniti QX80
November 20, 2017 before it
could be shipped to the Ivory Coast.

The FBI’s 2016 Motor Vehicle Theft report documented more than 765,000 motor vehicles – identified as sport utility vehicles, automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, motor scooters, all-terrain vehicles, and snowmobiles – with an approximate loss of $5.9 billion.  The FBI report indicates that 2016 motor thefts increased 7.4 percent over 2015 thefts.

Baltimore is one of the nation’s busiest import/export ports for new and used cars, trucks, boats, recreational vehicles and farm equipment.  CBP officers at the Port of Baltimore routinely examine outbound vehicles and export documentation and occasionally encounters vehicles that are reported stolen.

During fiscal year 2017 – which runs from October 2016 through September 2017 -- CBP officers recovered 59 stolen vehicles that had an approximate combined value of about $1.7 million.  That was CBP’s busiest year in stolen vehicle recoveries since 2010.

“Auto theft is not a victimless crime.  Customs and Border Protection officers will continue to work with our federal and local partners to identify and recover stolen vehicles before they can be smuggled out of the United States,” said Dianna Bowman, CBP Area Port Director for the Area Port of Baltimore.  “Export compliance inspections remain one of many Customs and Border Protection enforcement priorities in the Port of Baltimore and a responsibility that we take very seriously.” 

The most common destinations for stolen vehicles shipped from Baltimore are Benin, Ghana, and Nigeria.

Vehicle exporters must present the export vehicle for CBP examination, along with original documentation, such as a bill of sale and Certificate of Title that describes the vehicle and proves legitimate ownership or possession.  Learn more about federal requirements for exporting a motor vehicle.

“As the nation’s border security agency, Customs and Border Protection is charged with enforcing hundreds of laws and regulations at our nation’s international ports of entry,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore, the agency’s operational commander in the mid-Atlantic region.  “CBP plays a critical role in helping to keep our communities and consumers safe, and in protecting U.S. businesses from theft of actual and intellectual property.”

CBP’s Office of Field Operations

CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international sea cargo and searches for terrorist weapons, illicit narcotics, stolen vehicles, counterfeit merchandise, prohibited agriculture products and other prohibited items.  Learn about "A Typical Day" for CBP in 2016.

CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations.  Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.

Learn more about CBP at CBP.gov.

Last modified: 
December 4, 2017