Police statistics reveal that auto thefts in the city of Detroit have declined significantly in the past two years and according to law enforcement officials, this is because it banned a company from the towing rotation.
The Detroit News reports that from January to March 2017 there were 1,987 auto thefts across the city. From January to March 2019, there were 1,379 auto thefts after Nationwide Recovery Inc was suspended from police towing rotation in July 2017.
Detroit filed a lawsuit against Nationwide in 2017 alleging that the company was running a stolen vehicle ring but the complaint was dismissed by the presiding judge three months ago. Nevertheless, officials appear confident that banning Nationwide is the reason behind the 31 per cent reduction in auto thefts.
“DPD understands that correlation does not necessarily equate to causation,” Detroit deputy corporate counsel Chuck Raimi said. “But since Nationwide’s activities were shut down, DPD has noted a measurable reduction in auto thefts.”
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“We haven’t done anything differently, other than get rid of certain tow companies and take over towing — and, then, magically, our car thefts go way down. Detroit Police chief James Craig added. “I can’t think of any other explanation why they’re down.”
The city asserted that Nationwide was involved in an elaborate stolen vehicle scam and while the city withdrew the allegations under threat of sanctions, Raimi says that it introduced evidence showing a former Nationwide employee had contact with a known car thief in Detroit.
“Evidence was introduced in the Nationwide (case) showing that at least one (now former) employee of Nationwide had for months in 2017 been exchanging text message communications with a known car thief. Judge Colombo determined that this former employee was paying car thieves for the location of stolen vehicles.”
Judge Colombo stated that evidence supplied by the city of Detroit showed the owner of Nationwide Recovery and employees received tips from car thieves about where to pick up stolen vehicles but said the city had failed to prove that Nationwide conspired with car thieves.