Vehicle Theft Task Force detectives arrest a suspect for auto theft and related crimes during a search warrant
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
– For Immediate Release –

Tolleson, Arizona — On Wednesday, August 14, 2019, the Arizona’s Border Strike Force (ABSF) Vehicle Theft Task Force (VTTF) investigation lead to a search warrant resulting in the recovery of several stolen vehicles, stolen car parts, the arrest of one suspect, and the dismantling of a chop shop.
James M. Zavala, 46, was booked into the Maricopa County Jail for ten counts of theft of means of transportation and one count of owning/operating a chop shop.

VTTF detectives recovered the following stolen property:

    •    Five Ford pickup trucks
    •    2003 Mercedes sedan
    •    2017 Honda motorcycle
    •    CAT construction truck
    •    Two box trailers
    •    Engine
    •    Miscellaneous vehicle parts

Captain P. Etnire, VTTF Commander, said, “We see stolen vehicles being used to commit other serious crimes. The success of this search warrant resulted from a tip, and so we encourage people to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement or to the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC).”
The VTTF is comprised of city, county, state law enforcement agencies participating in a concerted effort to identify, apprehend and prosecute individuals, and criminal organizations that profit from the theft of motor vehicles and related crimes. The VTTF provides a vital mission on behalf of the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority (AATA) to reduce vehicle theft in Arizona by deterring criminal activity through effective and proactive enforcement, prosecution, and public awareness programs. VTTF is substantially funded by an annual grant from the AATA. Visit to learn more about the AATA.
The ultimate goal in the creation of the Arizona Border Strike Force is to deter, disrupt, and dismantle transnational criminal organizations that breach the border in their quest to set up business in our state. Specific units within the Border Strike Force Bureau include the Canine District, the Southern Investigations District, and the Vehicle Theft District.

You can play an important role in homeland security by being vigilant and watching for signs of terrorist, criminal or suspicious activity. We depend on you assistance in reporting the details of what you see through one of the methods listed below. Each method allows you to remain anonymous if you wish. 

Web – Submit a tip (link is external) via web

Call – (877) 2-SAVEAZ (877-272-8329) 24 hours a day

AZDPS Mobile Application (link is external)

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