During a routine patrol flight, a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department helicopter crew started tracking a stolen vehicle through a detection system on board the helicopter. What they found was much more…
Things were going smoothly for San Bernardino Deputies Brimmer and Quezada during their afternoon patrol flight in one of the departments AS350B2 helicopters on June 1 near the border between LA County and San Bernardino County near the unincorporated area of El Mirage, a dry lake bed that sits at the entrance to the Mojave desert.
During their patrol flight, deputies received a hit on their LoJack stolen vehicle locator that is one of the many pieces of sophisticated equipment on board the helicopter. Deputies Brimmer and Quesada tracked the LoJack hit to a property in the 2400 block of Egert Road, El Mirage that contained dozens of stolen vehicles that were in various stages of being dismantled, likely to be sold to unwitting buyers. Shortly after the helicopter detected the find, deputies from San Bernardino’s Victor Valley sector and the San Bernardino County Auto Theft Task Force (SANCATT) responded to the location, obtaining a warrant to search the property.
Due to the overwhelming amount of vehicles found, deputies Brimmer and Quesada landed their helicopter to assist ground deputies with the workload as the team worked to confirm the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) and license plate numbers of the vehicles found on site. The county’s SANCATT team stated that the find by the air unit was the county’s biggest “chop shop” find in one location to date (32 vehicles,) that required the unit to call in multiple other detectives to assist in identifying all of the parts that needed to be processed at the scene.
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Ryan Mason is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of Heliweb Magazine. Ryan has worked in aviation media for the last nine years as a photographer and journalist, providing written and photographic content for multiple international aviation publications covering both fixed wing and helicopters. Ryan has also written for law enforcement publications on tactics, equipment and airborne law enforcement, drawing on his years of experience as a police officer in the Midwest United States. You can reach Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org