Tarrant County Launching New Effort to Crack Down on Auto Theft Crimes After Rise in Cases
Tarrant County, Texas - Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson announced Tuesday that the county is dedicating a prosecutor to its multi-agency task force to crack down on auto thefts.
Zane Reid, former assistant criminal district attorney, will only prosecute auto theft cases. Reid is now the first prosecutor in Texas named to solely work with an auto crimes task force.
Previously, auto theft cases were sent to the DA’s Office and assigned to various prosecutors. All will now go to Reid, focusing on spotting trends.
Tarrant Regional Auto Crimes Task Force is known to take on the cases that local agencies don’t have the resources, nor reach to address. Bryan Sudan was appointed as commander of the Task Force.
According to officials, auto crimes have evolved as technology in newer cars prompted thieves to refine how they steal them. They now use fake IDs to buy cars, steal auto parts such as catalytic converters and reprogram fobs to steal keyless, push-button start vehicles.
In Tarrant County, motor vehicle thefts rose to 6,367 in 2020 from 5,895 in 2019, an 8% increase. Burglaries from motor vehicles grew to 14,288 in 2020 from 13,884 in 2019. And fraud related motor vehicle crimes reached 56 in 2020, up from 52 in 2019, according to statistics from the task force.