A recent uptick in truck thefts in north Liberty County dating as far back as December 2018 have been linked to human trafficking activity, according to investigators with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
Of the reported stolen trucks, seven were recovered and showed signs they had been used to carry people, according to a June 24 release from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. The recovered trucks’ rear windows were blacked out and the rear seats and interior paneling had been removed to make room to carry eight to ten people. Food wrappings were found littered in the rear of the trucks, signaling to police the trucks were used to transport people, per the release.
Investigators believe the recovered trucks were targeted because they were all big engine and high profile trucks “that could travel in areas where normal law enforcement vehicles cannot,” according to the release. Most of the trucks were left unlocked with the keys still inside when they were stolen.
“It appears the pick-up trucks stolen in Liberty County as well as other jurisdictions in south Texas are being used for organized criminal activity such as smuggling contraband and human trafficking,” the release stated.
Various arrests have already been made in connection with the stolen vehicles. Police reportedly linked ten stolen vehicles to a group of people from Houston; all were recently indicted on charges of organized criminal activity, according to the release.
The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office is working with other jurisdictions investigating similar pick-up truck thefts believed to be linked to human trafficking. Anyone with information on potential suspects involved is asked to to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (936) 336-4500 or call the Multi-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-392- STOP (7867).