Alameda County task force working to combat auto thefts in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Auto theft is a big problem in Oakland and surrounding cities.

A special task force was set up to combat the problem. More than 8,500 cars in Alameda County were stolen this year and many of them have been chopped up.

Combatting car theft in Oakland is a fulltime job for a dedicated Alameda County task force working to track down suspected thieves and recovering hundreds of stolen vehicles.

A man wanted for violating his felony parole tried to escape police Wednesday by running into his own home in the Fruitvale District and starting a fire.

"We showed up in the neighborhood today to try and apprehend the wanted felon," said Paul Hurt of the Alameda County Auto Theft Task Force. "We called the fire department and the Oakland PD loaned us their canine, and apparently the smoke and the barking drove him out the other end."

Later in East Oakland, authorities showed off some recovered property, this time from an auto thief police say specializes in General Motors cars and their engines.

"He sold this Pontiac Transam to a 17-year-old, it had a stolen transmission in it," said Marc Hinch of the Alameda County Auto Theft Task Force. "In just the last few years, we've recovered, law enforcement's recovered, 300 stripped Camaros alone in the Oakland missing their engines and transmissions."

The suspect is in the case of these vehicles is 35-year-old Albert Murray.

Police say once he steals the engines or other parts from a car he abandons the shells of the vehicles, often on the streets right around his own home.

Click here for more information on the Alameda County Auto Theft Task Force.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.