One man is in jail and authorities are looking for another who police say together stole at least 29 vehicles and sold them for scrap.
When detectives checked the vehicle identification numbers they got a surprise.
“Twenty-three of those stolen cars had been recycled twice,” said Atlanta Police Major Darryl Tollison.
It is car thieves’ latest trick: replacing the VIN plates on stolen cars with plates from cars that have already been junked. The stolen cars with clean VIN numbers are then sold for scrap.
The cars most at risk?
“They’re twelve years old and older,” Tollison said.
In fact, he said approximately 70 percent of the cars stolen in Atlanta are at least a dozen years old. Detectives said older vehicles are easier to sell and easier to pass off as scrap.
For each car scrapped, the thieves netted between $500 and $595, depending on weight. Jonathan Arnold, 36, was arrested by Rockdale County deputies and was being held without bond. The second suspect, 22-year old Donnell Davis, is still at large.