Authorities Stop Stolen Car from Crossing Border, Investigation Reveals Half Dozen Others Already Smuggled


POSTED: Monday, April 4, 2011 - 2:27pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 7:29am

In just twenty minutes his smuggling operation was shut down.

Police say 20 year old Eduardo Romero was attempting to drive a stolen vehicle across the border at the Veteran's Bridge into Mexico. Authorities say he had just taken the vehicle from a restaurant parking lot in Brownsville, it happened around 10 Sunday evening.

Agents working the south bound lane came across the vehicle and discovered it had just been reported as stolen minutes earlier and turned the case over to Brownsville police.

"He was interviewed and he told the investigator that he had been involved in six other stolen vehicles that had been either trucks or sport utility vehicles that he had taken to Mexico,” says Eddie Garcia of the Brownsville Police Department.

Romero admits to using a master key to steal several of the vehicles.

The other vehicles were stolen from high traffic parking lots like the mall, the zoo, and other busy restaurants around town, areas where people leave their vehicles for long periods of time.

"This is where it's extremely important that people have some type of anti-theft device that will help deter from losing their vehicle," says Garcia.

An alarm system, a club or anything that acts as a deterrent will often keep these car thieves away from your vehicle.

Garcia adds some of the vehicles did have car alarms they just weren't activated.

Those vehicles could have been spared, but police say the vehicle owner has to utilize the anti-theft tools to avoid becoming a victim.

While the vehicle in last Sunday night’s attempted smuggling was recovered and returned to the owner, the other six vehicles are long gone into Mexico. U.S. authorities say it's often extremely difficult to get those vehicles back.

Romero has been charged with seven counts of motor vehicle theft, his bond has been set at $105,000.

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