MISSION, TX (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — Mission police recently arrested a group of teens accused of running an organized auto theft ring.
Four teens and one juvenile are responsible for multiple vehicle thefts from Mission Bell, a Winter Texan RV park. It's not confirmed exactly how many trucks these young car thieves managed to steal.
Police say the teens would drive the stolen vehicles across the border to Mexico.
"We don't know exactly who they were dealing with in Mexico, we know that they knew what they were doing," said Sgt. Manny Casas.
Detectives were at the scene undercover and arrested the suspects after they caught them driving suspiciously around the RV park. Inside their truck, officers noticed plenty of equipment used to break into vehicles.
"Immediately they noticed that there were tools, tools of the trade what we would call, screwdrivers, metal rods, everything that would help them to open up a vehicle," explained Casas.
Police say the type of vehicles being targeted across the Valley are Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks. If you don't have an alarm or security system installed in your vehicle, it can take a skilled car thief less than ten seconds to break in and drive off with your vehicle."
"Vehicles can be broken into and taken within six to seven seconds, that's how fast these guys can do it," Casas said. "And now they're asking for the Fords, so it's a trend."
One trend that the residents of the Mission Bell RV park are practicing is extra alertness.
"It's a little scary, you know, we're all elderly people," said Ed Brummel, a Winter Texan living at the RV park. "I'm sure that we will be more aware of what's going on from now on."
Mission police say one tip to keep your car safe from thieves is to avoid using valet services. Suspects can make a copy of your vehicle key and look through documents in your car to determine your address of where you live.