Dougherty County PD after junk car thieves

ALBANY -- A wrecker pulled up to a Sylvester Road location and hauled away a black 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier Tuesday, according to a Dougherty County Police Department report. It was a crime.

The car was sold to the wrecker's crew by someone who didn't actually own the car, said police Lt. Danny Ball.

"We investigated a theft complaint and found out who sold the car," Ball said. "We contacted the wrecker and recovered the car before it was crushed at a salvage yard."

Police are in the process of obtaining warrants for the man who sold the car to the wrecker crew, Ball said. He could not release the name of the suspect until the warrants were obtained.

Ball did have information on how thieves pull off this particular kind of crime. According to Ball, a thief spots a junker sitting in a yard or a driveway and decides to sell it.

The thief could be from the victim's neighborhood and know the coming and going of the junk car's owner. Once the owner is not at home and away from the car, the thief calls a wrecker to meet him.

"The thief could just say 'meet me at 9 a.m. at this address'," Ball said. "Then the wrecker shows up to buy the car while the owner is away, maybe at work."

The thief doesn't need a title to sell a junker that is more than 15 years old, Ball said.

"If it isn't that old and it is obviously a junk car, the thief can pose as the owner, sign that he lost the title and a wrecker can buy it," Ball said.

The thief pockets maybe $100, and the wrecker takes the junker to a salvage yard where it can be sold for as much as $500 for parts, Ball said.

"We have had a couple of these cases recently," Ball said. "We are investigating."