Quick actions by owner, agency employee lead to SUV recovery
HOUSTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Houston Seaport stopped a stolen 2011 Land Rover, May 28, pending export to Benin.
CBP officers seized the stolen vehicle because the exporter did not have the owner’s authorization to ship the vehicle.
The vehicle owner alleges that he placed the Land Rover for sale and a buyer had issued a check to purchase the vehicle. The buyer later placed a stopped payment on the check without returning the sport utility vehicle. The owner filed a police report but was aware that the buyer may attempt to export the vehicle before it was recovered.
The Land Rover’s owner filed a police report and then went online and filed a complaint with the CBP Info Center. The CBP employee responding to questions, comments and complaints noticed the complaint and immediately replied asking for additional details.
The CBP Info Center employee determined the most likely port where the vehicle would be exported and alerted CBP officials in Houston.“In this instance, the vehicle’s owner acted immediately to alert local law enforcement officials and took the initiative to alert CBP in an effort to recover his stolen property,” said CBP Port Director Dave Fluty. “CBP officers located the stolen Land Rover while examining vehicles ready for export.”
The vehicle was discovered April 13 within two weeks of its owner contacting the CBP Info Center. The Land Rover was set to sail the following day.
Once CBP officers located the vehicle, it was placed on hold barring it from export until the police investigation was fully able to determine the rightful owner. Tarrant County Sherriff’s Office confirmed May 27 that the vehicle was stolen.
CBP seized the vehicle and turned it over to Texas DPS. The vehicle’s owner was notified May 29, that he could pick up his vehicle.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.