Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tampa Car-Cloning Criminal Boss PABLO BARRIO Escapes, He Was On House Arrest, LOL

FBI Tampa, Press Release; For Immediate ReleaseApril 29, 2009. FBI Tampa Contact: Special Agent Dave Couvertier (813) 253-1033
Car-Cloning Criminal Boss Escapes.

Tampa, Florida—PABLO BARRIO, 54, was placed on house arrest (LOL what a joke) on April 16, 2009 and escaped during the morning of April 28, 2009 from his residence and is now a federal fugitive.

On March 24, 2009, BARRIO was arrested by federal authorities. BARRIO was the key subject of OPERATION DUAL IDENTITY, a joint investigation involving a major car-cloning scheme. This joint investigative effort was one of the largest auto theft cases in the United States.

Investigators suspected BARRIO may be headed for Mexico. He had access to a 2004 dark blue Chevrolet Tahoe, Florida license plate 936-IIL. BARRIO has family members residing in High Springs, Florida; he previously lived in Chicago, Illinois; and has connections throughout the state of Florida; Houston, Texas, and has family members in Cuba.

Investigators said the car cloning worked like this: Thieves would steal a vehicle and head to a neighboring state to find one matching the make, model and color. They would copy that vehicle identification number, forge a label, paste it on the number of the stolen car and drive off with impunity.

They would forge titles and ownership papers and often sell the car. As long as they stayed out of the state where the car was stolen, few complications could develop. The practice is called car cloning - two identical vehicles in two states, one identification number.

Some used car dealers (Tampa) who bought the cloned cars for less than they were worth are complicit in the scam, FBI officials said. Certain Tampa used car dealers have been involved in a car scam shipping stolen cars to Dubai for resale at 2 to 3 times the retail value that could be obtained in the USA, sweet deal !

The ring was based in Tampa but operated in Miami, Chicago and as far away as Mexico City, authorities said. It stole about 1,000 vehicles, less than half of which were recovered, before catching the attention of investigators in 2006. The losses amount to more than $25 million, agents say.

BARRIO is described as follows:
Race: White Male (Hispanic)Height: 5 feet 8 inches Weight: 170 pounds (Medium Build) Hair: Black w/ Gray... Eyes: Brown..Date of Birth: January 15, 1955

Anyone with information on BARRIO’s current whereabouts is asked to call the Tampa FBI Field Office at 1-866-838-1153 (toll free) or their local authorities.

Bill Warner
private investigator