The Macomb Auto Theft Squad (MATS) is a multi-jurisdictional task force comprised of investigators from the Macomb County Sheriffs Office, Michigan State Police, Clinton Township Police Department, Eastpointe Police Department, St. Clair Shores Police Department, Sterling Heights Police Department, and the Warren Police Department. The Macomb County Prosecutor's Office assigns a full time assistant prosecutor to the squad to prosecute all cases generated by M.A.T.S. and to initiate forfeiture proceedings as mandated by law. Throughout Macomb County, the Macomb Auto Theft Squad investigates car-jackings, stolen vehicles, vehicles taken without permission, failure to return rental vehicles, chop shops, vehicle title frauds, odometer frauds, vehicles with disguise identities, vehicles purchased with fraudulent information, false police reports, insurance fraud, counterfeit insurance certificates /plates/ licenses and repair/salvage facility violations.
In 2008, the Macomb Auto Theft Squad received the prestigious Robert Sattler Award at the 45th Annual Midwest Motor Vehicle Conference which was held in East St. Louis, Illinois. The award was presented to MATS in recognition of a theft investigation involving illegally obtained keys that were used to steal vehicles. MATS was able to arrest and charge six subjects with 156 counts of auto theft crimes and to recover twenty-four stolen vehicles valued at $300,000.
During the summer months of 2008, investigators from the Macomb Auto Theft Squad used an abandoned vehicle repair facility in Warren and “purchased” stolen vehicles from a loosely-organized auto theft ring. Detectives installed surveillance equipment and, over a three-month period, “purchased” over 50 stolen vehicles. Felony warrants for 15 individuals were issued and the total value of the recovered stolen vehicles was over $600,000. MATS Detective David Andrews, assigned from the Warren Police Department, received the 2009 Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) Investigator of the Year award for his dedicated efforts in this investigation.
The Macomb Auto Theft Squad meets the challenges of an ever changing criminal element and is constantly faced with new and elaborate schemes portrayed by criminals. With the age of technology and home computers, no longer is it just the common car thief stealing a parked vehicle. Citizens and businesses are being targeted with identify theft, fraudulent documents and illegal business practices. The internet has opened a new door used to sell stolen vehicles that are retagged to hide the fact that they are stolen. If you are buying a car on-line and the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. If you suspect that you may have encountered a stolen vehicle, either on line or on the street, contact the Macomb Auto Theft Squad.
MATS investigators can often be found speaking at community groups and organizations with information on how to protect yourself from auto theft related crimes. If your organization is interested in a MATS representative at one of your meetings, contact the MATS office for further information.
Help Eliminate Auto Thefts