Portland City Worker Charged in Auto Theft, Scrap Metal Scheme

April 25, 2014

Portland, Ore., police arrested a city worker accused of taking part in an auto theft scheme.

Sgt. Pete Simpson says 53-year-old Barbara Lorraine Peterson was arrested Wednesday at the Bureau of Transportation’s abandoned autos division.

Investigators say Peterson provided information about abandoned vehicles to a rogue tow-truck driver in exchange for cash. The driver then towed the cars to West Coast Car Crushing, where they would be crushed and sold as scrap metal.

Peterson was booked into the Multnomah County jail on charges of official misconduct, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and conspiracy to commit unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Simpson says detectives don’t believe any other city workers participated in the scheme.

Earlier this month, police raided West Coast Car Crushing and another auto business as part of their investigation.

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