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Friday, May 15, 2009

MD Tow Truck Driver Charged With Theft of Autos From Roadside

Sheesh. From ExploreBaltimoreCounty.com:
By Kevin Rectorkrector@patuxent.com
Posted 5/12/09
A Baltimore tow truck driver was arrested Monday for stealing four cars from the shoulders of
area highways then selling them as his own to an automobile recycling yard in the city, according to Maryland State Police.The truck driver is also being investigated in connection with seven other roadside car thefts, police said.Charles Jennings III, 38, of the 4200 block of Labyrinth Road, stole four cars that had broken down or been abandoned then sold the vehicle as scrap to
Eastside Auto Recycling Inc., in the 4700 block of Erdman Avenue, according to state police.Jennings faces four counts of auto theft and four counts of theft of $500 or more.The recycling yard legally bought the four cars — as state law permits the purchase of vehicles that are inoperable and at least eight years old without vehicle titles — and its owners face no charges, said Greg Shipley, a police spokesman.The Baltimore Regional Auto Theft Task Force, which state police called in to assist in their investigation, are also investigating Jennings’ connection to seven other vehicles found at Eastside Auto. All seven had been reported stolen from the Baltimore Beltway in March and April, and additional charges are pending, Shipley said.Police believe Jennings has delivered more than 80 vehicles to Eastside Auto this year, though not all were stolen, Shipley said.Jennings turned himself in at the State Police Golden ing Barracks on Monday after his attorney contacted police regarding a May 7 warrant for his arrest.He is being held in the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson on $50,000 bond, Shipley said.He first came under investigation on May 5, when police received a call from a man who said a 2000 Infinity that he holds a lien on and is in the process of repossessing had been taken from the side of Interstate 695 near Interstate 895 after the woman driving it left it there.The man activated a GPS device in the vehicle, and told police that it had been taken to Eastside Auto.When police got to the recycling yard, they learned Jennings had towed the car there earlier that day, along with five other vehicles, for which he had been paid $1,000, Shipley said.For each vehicle, Jennings had signed an indemnity form stating he was the owner, Shipley said.Four of the six cars were found to be stolen from area highways, Shipley said.Officers also found the seven other cars they determined had been taken from the Beltway in the yard, as well as more than 80 indemnity forms with Jennings’ name on them, Shipley said.The investigation is ongoing. Police are
looking at whether other vehicles previously reported stolen in Baltimore and Baltimore County match vehicles found at Eastside, Shipley said.

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