Missouri City’s Law Encourages Thieves to Steal Old Cars

February 19, 2013

St. Louis, Mo., police say a revised law is encouraging thieves to steal older cars and sell them for scrap, causing a big rise in auto thefts.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the law, which took effect last August, made it legal to sell a nonfunctioning vehicle 10 years or older without a title.

St. Louis County police Sgt. Tom Naughton says thieves can make $200 to $500 for each car, at a time when other laws have made it harder to sell stolen wire or gutters for scrap.

The lawmaker who proposed the change, Rep. Kevin Engler of Farmington, rejects the police complaints. He says the law was intended to help rural landowners get rid of junk cars that are abandoned on their property.

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