The Cadillac pulled over to the right immediately after the lights came on. The officer had followed it for a couple of miles until another officer caught up in order to initiate the felony stop. The first officer had gotten a stolen vehicle “hit” after running the Cadillac’s plate and quickly called for another unit to respond. Dispatch confirmed with the officer that he had a visual on a 2012 Cadillac Escalade, white in color.
Last week, I made mention of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and what information is contained therein. NCIC is maintained by the FBI, who also monitors and audits the state run systems. In turn, each state system is maintained by that state’s designated criminal information repository. This is usually the state police agency.
When the Cadillac stopped, both officers exited their vehicles with their guns drawn. This is standard procedure when attempting to recover an occupied stolen car. They ordered the driver and passenger out of the vehicle with their hands up. Each person was handcuffed and the scene was secured.
It was not a stolen car.
Quick reminder: when a stolen vehicle is entered into the state system, it is also automatically entered into NCIC. Which means that if the vehicle travels to another state or territory, a hit will still pop up for law enforcement in those areas. The procedure (hit, another unit, lights, guns drawn…) would occur there too.
Alright, now you have the vehicle stopped, occupants detained, then it’s time for dispatch to contact the agency of record for the stolen vehicle report. This is to confirm that the vehicle is still outstanding (stolen) and that the signed report is in that agency’s possession. The agency of record has 10 minutes to confirm the first information request. Usually this is completed within that time. I would fill in the minutiae of this process except I can tell you’re already getting sleepy so…skip!
Just kidding! Here’s a bit more: when an entry is made into the system (warrants, stolen cars, stolen property), there is the usual descriptive information and then there is a line for additional info. For a vehicle, one might make mention that it has large rims, flames on the doors, or a dented fender.
The Cadillac’s hit said: “Security Interest Theft”.
I had never heard of such a thing. None of the officers that I worked with had heard of such a thing. Neither had the two officers that stopped the Cadillac. When officers see the ****STOLEN VEHICLE**** line at the top of the page, the rest is just window dressing.
When dispatch made contact with the agency of record, they asked: “What does Security Interest Theft mean?”
The on-duty personnel at the agency of record didn’t know either!
The agency attempted to contact who filed the report to get this information. The victim…was the bank that made the loan to purchase the vehicle.
The registered owner of the Cadillac had defaulted on said loan over 90 days, was sent a certified letter by the bank indicating as much and that they wanted the vehicle back, which the owner apparently ignored. The bank then contacted the police department with jurisdiction and reported the Escalade stolen.
The bank effectively lobbied the state legislature into writing into law a statute that made the police, ALL police, into their glorified repo men. Worse yet, the law does not cross state lines. Only the stolen vehicle hit does. So, if the car travels to Alabama and an officer gets the hit there, this (the lights and the guns) happens there too. Except that the law is even more worthless out of state.
The vehicle is not stolen. Defaulting on your payments is not a crime, it’s a civil matter. Yet, the banks have made it possible to have those that default on payments be stopped by police with their guns drawn. That always turns out well, right?
In the Cadillac’s case, it kind of did. If you subtract the being pulled out at gunpoint part.
The procedure after the recovery, we learned, was to make contact with the victim (the specific bank employee that made the report) and that person (if they still work there!) usually orders the vehicle seized and towed to where they want it taken. Neither the driver nor passenger of the Cadillac was the registered owner so there was no one to cite with this civil, not criminal issue.
The bank officer could not be reached, so you know what happened?
The Cadillac was released to the two occupants and they just drove away. The stolen entry was placed back in the system so that we could do this all again another day.
P.s. You know who else didn’t know that this law or type of stolen vehicle entry existed?
The FBI (you know, the agency that oversees the whole fucking system)! It didn’t make any sense to them either when I spoke with their administrators.
Were they going to do anything about it? Take a guess.
Thank you for reading.
McSquirrel yada, yada, yada.