The Industry's Leading Source For F&I, Sales And Technology

Special Finance®

High-End Vehicles Leased to Smugglers Recovered

April 05, 2012

Federal customs agents recovered a stolen 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia at Los Angeles' port. Photo: USCBP
Federal customs agents recovered a stolen 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia at Los Angeles' port. Photo: USCBP

Federal customs agents uncovered 20 high-end stolen vehicles bound for Asia inside. They were discovered inside shipping containers that had been listed on the shipping manifest as "used fitness equipment."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recovered the vehicles after a car rental company became suspicious when a GPS device in a 2010 Ferrari showed the vehicle at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport. The stolen vehicles were bound for Hong Kong and Vietnam.

The vehicles, which had a combined value of $1.5 million, included a 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia and other luxury brands such as BMW, Lexus, Infiniti, and Audi. The Ferrari is valued at $280,000.

Smugglers used false identities to lease or purchase the new vehicles, defrauding several local dealerships, captive finance and insurance companies, Jamie Ruiz, CBP spokesman, told F&I and Showroom magazine.

"This is an extremely important discovery and it once again demonstrates the alertness and attention to duty CBP officers practice every day," said Todd C. Owen, the CBP's director of field operations in Los Angeles, "In addition to protecting the homeland from terrorists and their weapons, CBP officers are also charged with ensuring that our citizens do not lose their property to international thieves."

So far in fiscal year 2011, CBP agents at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport have seized 61 vehicles and 49 engines heading overseas. Of that total, 24 were stolen, 73 were undeclared, seven were undervalued and six had fraudulent documents.

No arrest have been made and the investigation is ongoing. Owen said the recovered vehicles will be turned over to state authorities and returned to their rightful owners.


  1. 1. Armando [ April 05, 2012 @ 11:11PM ]

    Why did the GPS take so long to activate? Or was it called in to activate. How many of the other cars have GPS?

  2. 2. ted [ April 07, 2012 @ 06:58AM ]

    Had that exotic car with the GPS been loaded in the container prior to the owner getting suspicious, it would have never worked. The only thing that can work in a metal container, warehouse , building, etc is LoJack

  3. 3. howell clark [ April 11, 2012 @ 08:21AM ]

    Sure seems like the author is giving overly strong credit to the CBP folks. i know they have a hard unthankful job that covers so many different aspects of our countries security but if this hadn't been caught by a defrauded merchant using common sense available tools and knowledge of his area.these vehicles would have join thousands of others already gone to asia. must involve some big folks if no arrest were made.


Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email: