The Broward Sheriff's Office crackdown on car thieves in the county last year led to 174 arrests and over $4.3 million in stolen vehicles being recovered, officials said Tuesday.
The operation is part of the agency's ongoing effort to target HEAT, or High End Auto Theft, by BSO's Burglary Apprehension Team.
In addition to the arrests and 69 cars recovered, BSO said 17 firearms were seized during 2020 by BAT detectives.
Officials say thieves hunt for high-end cars like Mercedes and Range Rovers, and are often successful because owners leave doors unlocked or leave keys or key fobs in vehicles.
The thieves are able to disable installed tracking devices, change the VIN numbers and sell the vehicles to locations across the state and country.
BSO on Tuesday also released aerial footage of car thieves hitting one Broward neighborhood.
In addition to not leaving car doors unlocked and not leaving car keys or fobs in their car, residents are asked to not leave valuables and garage door openers in their car.