December Tip Moves HEAT to $40M in Recoveries

January 4, 2005

A telephone tip received by HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Thefts) in December led to the recovery of approximately $24,000 in stolen automobiles and parts from a Detroit chop shop. This latest bust pushed the 20-year-old program to more than $40 million in total recovered property.

“HEAT links people in our communities who have information about auto theft and insurance fraud directly with law enforcement through our confidential tip line,” said Terri Miller, director of HEAT. “Recovering more than $40 million in stolen property is a milestone accomplishment, and the result of many years of teamwork, leadership and commitment to sustaining a unique partnership between the insurance industry, law enforcement and citizen activists.”

The December tip led police to the location of a suspected chop shop, and to the recovery of multiple stolen vehicles and parts, a total of $24,000 in recovered property. Three suspects were arrested.

From 1985 through 2003, HEAT paid out awards on tips that led to the prosecutions of 84 auto theft rings, 216 chop shops, 140 car jackings and 55 fraudulent car thefts, among other crimes. The HEAT program is a private initiative funded by Michigan’s auto insurance companies.

Miller pointed out that HEAT’s success is due to the hundreds of law enforcement officers who not only work on the tips but also pass along the HEAT tip-line number as they investigate complaints.

“HEAT is a program where ordinary people can make a positive contribution and help their communities. The more people who know that they can call in a tip and have their information kept confidential, the better we are able to make a positive impact on auto crimes in Michigan,” added Miller.

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