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1360. Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Statutes -- Investigative Jurisdiction

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has investigative jurisdiction over the civil penalty provisions in 49 U.S.C §§ 33114 and 33115 relating to a manufacturer's or importer's failure to comply with passenger automobile theft prevention (parts marking) standards required under 49 U.S.C. §  Chapter 331 and implementing regulations. NHTSA also has investigative jurisdiction over civil penalties, under 49 U.S.C. § 33115, applicable to owning and operating a "chop shop."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has investigative jurisdiction over criminal offenses relating to altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers (18 U.S.C. § 511), unauthorized application of theft prevention decals (18 U.S.C. § 511A), trafficking in motor vehicles and parts knowing that identification numbers have been removed (18 U.S.C. § 2321), and operating a chop shop (18 U.S.C. § 2322).

The United States Customs Service has investigative jurisdiction over the importation or exportation of stolen motor vehicles (18 U.S.C. §  553), as well as the civil penalty provisions in 19 U.S.C. § 1627a relating to importing or exporting stolen motor vehicles. The Customs Service also assists the NHTSA in the enforcement of the regulatory provisions applicable to importers of foreign manufactured vehicles.

[cited in USAM 9-61.700]

Updated May 22, 2015