High Metal Prices Spur Car-Towing Schemes in Pennsylvania

March 18, 2008

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania police say a woman recently noticed that her car had been tagged as abandoned and rushed down to the state transportation building to clear up the problem.

When she got back, the tag was gone — but so was her car.
Police say a man apparently saw the tag and arranged for the car to be towed to a salvage yard, where he got cash for the parts. Police say they think he did the same thing on five other occasions.

Authorities say such schemes are becoming more common across the country due to high steel prices.

Michele Staton, executive director of the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Agency, says some tow truck drivers have been illegally picking up abandoned vehicles. She says they take them to scrapyards and get money for the parts and metal.

Officials say the thefts often go unnoticed because the vehicles are abandoned.

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