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Investigative Services Division

Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force (StanCATT)

Stancatt has employed several approaches to reduce the number of auto thefts within the Metropolitan Modesto Area as described by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) during 2008.

Recidivism is one consistent factor we have seen with auto theft and the statistics that haunt us. Auto theft is not a one time crime of opportunity but many times a one, two or three man crime wave. One particular suspect was believed responsible for stealing at least 60 cars a month. After his arrest on warrants we saw our numbers decline by 63 cars the next month. This case alone drove home the impact just one suspect could have on our auto theft numbers. We have consistently focused on persons we believe responsible for multiple thefts. Many times they are probationers or parolees with 10851 priors. Working closely with both probation and parole we have focused on these frequent fliers who drive our numbers up. We believe this is one of several approaches that have caused a decline in thefts for 2008 to date.

Our county-wide efforts to decrease auto theft include a court-mandated bail increase from $15,000 to $40,000 and minimum of 180 days in jail, the District Attorney’s commitment to vertical prosecution, the use of bait cars, and weekly placement of suspects’ photos in The Modesto Bee. Computer Forensics
STANCATT members are very knowledgeable about possible auto theft suspects, who we focus on locating and tracking their movements. In November and December, we apprehended six of these major players. As an example of the impact one suspect can have on our statistics, STANCATT offers Ronnie Hodge, who was easily responsible for 60 auto thefts a month; following his apprehension was a marked decrease of 63 stolen cars for the month.

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