The vehicle used in the parlor shot had a paper tag – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

NBC 5 Investigates has learned that the vehicle used by the alleged shooter who opened fire inside a Dallas barbershop had a type of temporary Texas paper license plate that may make it more difficult for the police to locate the owner of the car.

The shooting, in the Koreatown neighborhood of the city, injured three Asian women in what police described as a hate crime.

NBC 5 obtained the vehicle’s tag number from a Dallas police arrest warrant affidavit. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles later confirmed on Tuesday that the tag is what’s called a “vehicle-specific tag,” a type of paper tag meant to be used by car dealerships, primarily for test drives or moving vehicles from one dealership to another.

It’s unclear why the suspect in the living room shooting, Jeremy Theron Smith, 37, allegedly had one of those dealer tags, and Dallas police didn’t immediately respond to questions about the tag Tuesday night. .

The TxDMV told NBC5 that the small Dallas County dealer who issued the tag had its dealer’s license revoked in April for violating TxDMV rules, although the department did not say what specific rules were revoked. violated.

Vehicle-specific labels are registered to a dealer’s name, not an individual. So if the vehicle is involved in a crime, the police will first have to contact the dealer to find out who is driving the car, which can slow down an investigation.

But in this case, the Dallas police seem to have made a major breakthrough in the case with high-tech policing.

According to a police affidavit, investigators were able to use data collected by license plate readers who had previously captured images of the paper tag on Smith’s car parked multiple times at an address in Dallas. Officers were then able to drive to that address and locate the car.

For months, an ongoing NBC 5 investigation has shown how paper tags cause big headaches for police investigating crimes across the state, as they can often make it more difficult to identify the owner of an item. a car.

Hundreds of thousands of fraudulent paper tags were sold illegally for profit, according to law enforcement investigators. And our reporting has also shown how small dealerships often misuse paper tags by affixing certain types of temporary tags to cars that shouldn’t have them, creating even more difficulty for police trying to determine which are legitimate or not.

Texas lawmakers are now considering scrapping the state’s paper tag system to address lingering safety concerns.

On Tuesday, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson told NBC 5 he wanted more action to address the beacon issue, saying in a statement: “…we will need more help from other law enforcement agencies and Austin in the next legislative session. We must all work together to put public safety first and stop the unscrupulous dealers, criminals and criminal enterprises who use these tags. . »

PREVIOUS REPORTS

  • May 10, 2022 – Texas’ Paper Label Problem Compounded by Small Resellers Misusing Them
  • May 3, 2022 – Dallas Police Arrest Accused Fake Paper Tag Dealer
  • April 26, 2022 – Texas House Set to Hold Paper Label Hearings
  • April 14, 2022 – Texas DMV cracks down on dealers selling temporary paper tags
  • April 13, 2022 – TxDMV closes inspection loophole that puts unsafe cars on the roads
  • April 12, 2022 – Dallas police go undercover to crack down on illegal paper tags
  • April 7, 2022 – Police warn of fake paper tags used to trick car buyers
  • April 5, 2022 – Texas Senate to Investigate Illegal Paper Tag Crimes and Contraband
  • March 9, 2022 – Texas Paper Tag Crime Danger Expands Nationwide
  • March 5, 2022 – Texas House to Hold Hearings on Paper Tag Mess
  • February 28, 2022 – Smuggling permits: Drug cartels and smugglers use Texas paper tags to escape
  • February 15, 2022 – Fort Worth Police Announce Special Operation Targeting Paper Tags
  • Feb 14, 2022 – Crash Victim’s Parents Want More Cops Over Police Paper Tag Fraud
  • February 13, 2022 – More funding needed to crack down on criminals using false paper Tags: Police
  • February 10, 2022 – Police report drop in fraudulent labels, but Warn Crooks is adapting
  • February 9, 2022 – Texas DMV shuts down six more dealers suspected of selling paper license tags
  • February 7, 2022 – TxDMV director resigns amid paper tag mess
  • January 27, 2022 – TxDMV Takes Urgent Action to Stop Scammers Selling Paper Labels
  • January 21, 2022 – Dallas police operation targets fraudulent paper tags
  • Jan 17, 2022 – Recording shows police tipped off TxDMV about paper tag security breach years ago
  • December 16, 2021 – DMV Panel Recommends Fingerprinting of Some Dealerships to Slow Paper Tag Fraud
  • December 14, 2021 – Texas House Transportation president pledges to end paper tag fraud
  • December 6, 2021 – Texas DMV boss deflects blame for paper tag debacle
  • November 23, 2021 – Illegal Paper Tags Cost Texas Taxpayers and Toll Roads Millions
  • November 10, 2021 – Suspected paper tag peddler shuts down Tuesday, reopens Wednesday: Investigators
  • November 8, 2021 – How Texas Paper Tags Became a $200 Million Criminal Enterprise: NBC 5 Investigates

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