It shall be the mission of the Iowa State Patrol Division, Vehicle Theft Unit to reduce the occurrence of vehicle thefts within the State of Iowa and to eliminate the use of Iowa as a marketplace for vehicles stolen outside the state.
To accomplish this mission, the Vehicle Theft Unit will:
In February 1976, in response to criminal information developed as a result of an investigation into a Mount Pleasant salvage operation, the Iowa State Patrol Division selected and trained fourteen (14) troopers as vehicle theft investigators. This was a part-time assignment in addition to regular patrol duties. One trooper from each of the fourteen districts served in this capacity. In 1977, troopers with the largest vehicle theft caseload were permitted to work plain clothes as opposed to being in uniform and the patrol cars were stripped of all official markings. On January 1, 1983, Colonel Frank Metzger, formally created District 15, the Vehicle Theft Unit brining the number of District offices from fourteen to fifteen. Six troopers were assigned as full-time vehicle theft officers and transferred to the new district. These troopers were assigned to work on vehicle theft investigations across the entire state. Lieutenant Jerry Lewis was the first commander of District 15. On September 1, 1983, District 15 relocated from the Patrol Headquarters in the Wallace Building to 5390 NW 2nd Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa. The position of part-time vehicle theft officers was discontinued. The strength of the vehicle theft unit was increased to eight troopers and permanent locations were established in January 1984. The locations were Des Moines (2), Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Ottumwa, and Sioux City. There were additional positions of Des Moines and Dubuque added in September 1987. On September 1, 1988, the strength was again increased, totaling 11 with four troopers assigned to the Des Moines office. In the past few years due to budget constraints, the number of troopers assigned to the unit had diminished to 1. In November 2005, that number was increased to 5 and they are dispersed throughout the state. There are 2 in Des Moines, 1 in Cedar Falls, 1 in Davenport, and 1 in Sioux City.
In August 1990, the office moved to 5554 NE 14th Street in Des Moines. In June 2002, District 15, moved to its present location at 5912 NW Second Avenue in Des Moines.
If you wish to contact the Vehicle Theft Unit, please call (515) 281-6176.
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