Mexican Cartels linked to car thefts in San Antonio area


SAN ANTONIO -- The Laredo Auto Theft Task force continues to investigate stolen cars linked to cartels. "I think it's a huge eye opener for peopel who live in San Antonio, " says Investigator Joe Baeza with the Laredo Police Department.

A straight shot down Interstate 35, and your car could be gone forever, straight into Mexico. "They're stealing a little bit of everything," Baeza went on to say.

Gina Gonzales, an Investigator with the Laredo Auto Theft Task force says criminal organizations often target pickup trucks to smuggle people, drugs, and weapons, and now the thieves are going after all makes and models of vehicles.

Recently, the investigators netted another ring of suspected organized car thieves. The group of four had been the subject of a 2-month investigation by the ATTF .

Police arrested Cesar Bustamante, Arturo Ayala, and Isreal Sanchez, meanwhile Abraham Ahumada Jr. who has ties to San Antonio remains at large.

Gonzales says the group's objective was to steal the cars and take them into Mexico for the cartels. Eight cars were stolen including two from San Antonio.

"I'm sure that there's gonna be more arrests, " Gonzales went on to say.

Meanwhile investigators are still searching for Jorge Lopez of Natalia and Ramon Mendoza of San Antonio; both are wanted in connection to another operation where 18 cars were stolen from San Antonio and other cities.

Police say in some of the cases where the cars were stolen the doors were unlocked, or the key was left inside.

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