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Collaboration: In it to win it – combatting auto parts theft

Auto parts theft is a global problem and one which is never likely to be completely eradicated, but what should be focused on to improve this situation? Frank Cutruzzola, President and Director of Cyber Investigations at W3 Intelligence Research Group Inc, a licensed private investigation agency based in Canada, provides us with his views about how working together is key in helping to combat this issue.


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Frank Cutruzzola

Crimes and those committing them continue to evolve geographically largely due to the global connectivity we enjoy through today’s technology, and the many platforms affording accessibility. This subsequently results in crimes intersecting not only across local areas but may include various countries across the world.

This creates a disconnect within the investigation of these crimes that impact many which include law enforcement, insurers and the private sector within each of the impacted locations. This gap often results in incomplete intelligence, increased manpower requirements affecting additional time and costs to investigate, and a poor reflection on branding to those involved. There may even be times when some of those impacted may be completely unaware of the existence of criminal activity.

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Ultimately those combatting crimes must work together to stay in the game. But there are some strategic points to consider in order to assure a mutually successful collaboration of resources. This includes building trust between the collaborators, affirmative promotion of the collaboration, how the collaboration will be modelled and operated, identifying the knowledge and skillsets amongst the collaborators, and how information and intelligence will be shared.

Successful collaboration offers several benefits including enticing broader support, creating new cooperative efforts, and produces a better understanding of the crimes and how to address them more effectively in future. It is important to note that there may be challenges that could be encountered in collaboration, some of which could include differences in prioritizing between collaborators, obstacles to information sharing, control and independence to complete responsibilities and duties, as well as the expenses of collaboration itself.

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In beating these challenges, it is vital that a methodical approach be applied that includes five key components.

  1. Partnership which consists of having a well-defined understanding of purpose and structure of the collaboration, solid constant communication among collaborators, awareness for strengths and limitations of all collaborators, mutually empowered and accountable working relationships, appropriate independence from mandate to participate as a full collaborator, and have shared purposes and priorities regarding the initiative.
  2. Process which involves mutual rights over the design, operation, and modifications to the process; an organized process that is reasonable and can easily be replicated, valuable instruction and messaging on the model process and practice, a solid commitment to the method and model, and transparent information sharing procedures and routines.
  3. Commitment which requires a responsibility to the collaborative process, the dedication of sufficient time, resources, and staff involvement; and stability in effective leadership to support the initiative.
  4. Resources that necessitate appropriate skill-based cross-training in process and collaboration, adaptable to participate and be utilized in a team environment; varied resources, skillsets, and expertise to manage problems; organizing methodologies to sustain drive and direction of the collaboration, and adequate resources to carry out collaborative efforts.
  5. Lastly, perspective, which requires commitment to pursue other courses of action aside from the status quo, a need to see collaboration as the key, authentically see value and advantage in collaboration, and cultivation of compelling community support for the intent and purpose of the collaboration.

Closing the gap on criminals using collaborative efforts through law enforcement, insurers, and the private sector ultimately not only results in lowering crimes but subsequently produces a positive impact both on economies globally and creates a more cohesive and unified society both locally and abroad.

For more information, contact Frank Cutruzzola at or visit