Each year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents stop thousands of stolen vehicles from being exported and sold in other countries.

Agents from CBP’s Baltimore Field Office stopped 343 stolen vehicles between October 2022 and September 2023, a 44% increase compared to the previous year. The vehicles — most of which were bound for West Africa — were valued at about $17.7 million, officials said Tuesday.

The agency recovered 1,316 vehicles nationwide, meaning about 26% of them were stopped in this region, which covers the ports of Baltimore; Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia; Philadelphia; and Wilmington, Delaware.

The Port of Baltimore ranked third nationally for stolen vehicle recoveries, according to CBP, with 141 recoveries with a total value of $7,369,142. The Port of Baltimore is among the busiest in the U.S. when it comes to importing cars. After the collapse of the Key Bridge blocked access to Baltimore, the port at Tradepoint Atlantic ramped up its capacity to handle vehicle imports.

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Here’s a look, by the numbers, at some of the stolen vehicles that were stopped.

Most expensive

Valued at $250,377, a bright yellow 2022 Lamborghini Urus bound for Togo from Norfolk was the most expensive car recovered by CBP officers. The Urus has a top speed of just under 190 miles per hour, according to Lamborghini.

This 2022 Lamborghini Urus was the recovered stolen vehicle last year, valued at more than $250,000. It was stopped in Norfolk. (Courtesy photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Runners-up for the most expensive recovered car are:

  • A 2021 Mercedes Benz G63 AMG valued at $230,500, bound for Togo from Baltimore.
  • A 2022 Mercedes Benz G63 AMG valued at $225,900, bound for Togo from Baltimore.
  • A 2021 Mercedes Benz G63 AMG valued at $225,900, bound for Benin from Baltimore.
  • And a 2021 Aston Martin DBX valued at $175,300, bound for Togo from Norfolk.

The oldest

The oldest vehicle was a 1991 Toyota pickup (CBP didn’t specify which model) bound for Honduras from Wilmington, valued at $2,150.

Number of models

Officials said they seized 104 different vehicle models. The oldest was from 1991, and the rest were from model years 2004 through 2024 — but none were from the 2006 model year.

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  • Land Rover’s Range Rover was the most “popular” model, accounting for 35 of the recovered vehicles.
  • There were 18 recovered Toyota Highlanders.
  • There were 17 recovered BMW X5s.

Where the cars were bound

Ninety percent of the stolen vehicles recovered by CBP’s Baltimore Field Office were bound for countries in West Africa. And 77% of all stolen vehicles were bound for just five countries:

  • There were 69 vehicles bound for Ghana.
  • There were 59 vehicles bound for Togo.
  • There were 47 vehicles bound for Liberia.
  • There were 45 vehicles bound for Nigeria, and 45 bound for Sierra Leone.

In June, two Laurel men were sentenced to prison for conspiring to steal cars and export them to West Africa.

Other notable vehicles that were stopped by officials include:

  • Just one electric vehicle — a 2022 Hyundai IONIQ5, bound to Congo from Baltimore, valued at $22,500.
  • Four motorcycles — two from Philadelphia, one bound for Puerto Rico and one bound for Guatemala; and, two from Wilmington, one bound for Honduras and one bound for Guatemala.
  • A 2014 John Deere S680 Combine valued at $147,590, bound for Argentina from Baltimore.

Matthew Davies, the acting director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office, said in a statement the international trade of stolen vehicles is a “revenue streams for transnational criminal organizations,” so the agency will “strike back by recovering these vehicles and reuniting them with their lawful owners.”

The Baltimore Field Office’s territory spans from Trenton, New Jersey, to the state line between Virginia and North Carolina.