New salvage yard rules for finding stolen cars

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A statewide law for scrap and salvage yards is allowing police to recover stolen cars and owners to maintain credibility.

The Salvage Yard Reporting System is connected with a DMV database to cross check vehicle title information.

All salvage customers must have this information checked before they can sell properly.

Division of Motor Vehicles’ License and Theft Bureau has received 41 reports of stolen vehicles, stopping 22 from being sold to salvage yards and confiscating 19 following sales since Dec. 1.

Two vehicles were recovered from Lily's Recycling and Auto Salvage and one from Winston- Salem's Pull-A-Part.

109 U-Pull-It owner Bob Young said he has always asked for title information before the law change along with extensive security camera photos. Young said with the law all scrap owners can compete fairly and maintain integrity knowing their items are not stolen.

"Back in the old days you didn't have to worry so much about it because people weren't as apt to steal a $25 dollar car but when the prices started to go up over $200 it really started to change the whole ball game for everybody," Young said.

Motor Vehicles Commissioner Kelly J. Thomas reported 15,876 vehicles were stolen in North Carolina during 2012.

Captain Mike Kirk with High Point police said the law eliminates the loophole for car thieves.

"One individual last year who did 10 or 12 [stolen vehicles] -- he was just finding them abandoned on the road that were 10 years or older snatching them up and turning them into a scrap yard because at that time they weren't required to maintain those records, so we had a rash of them last year," Kirk said.

The system will continue to check the vehicle’s status for up to 30 days after the initial request.

All salvage yards are required to register for the DMV database system or face felony charges.

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