Arrest in stolen cars for scrap, other people wanted

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Police say they are investigating a problem that is becoming all too common: thieves stealing cars and scrapping them for cash.

Police made an arrest in several cases on Wednesday. Basseer Jackson is now behind bars, accused of stealing cars, towing them and then scrapping them about 10 times. Police believe more suspects are still out there.

In one still unsolved case, a 1977 Chevy Pickup truck was taken from someone's backyard. That victim says it was bought as a fun project for the family.

"I have three grandsons and I was looking forward to working with them, doing the body work and all the engine work," said Coleman Pride.

He checked on the truck behind his daughter's house last week only to find it missing.

"I looked and I said, 'my truck is gone!'"

Police say someone called a towing company, acted as the truck's owner and had the car towed to Sims Metal Management so it could be scrapped for cash.

The truck is more than 10 years old, so Virginia law does not require a title, only an ID and DMV form before it's scrapped. Often, the cars are crushed immediately. Police are hoping for some changes to that.

"It would definitely give us an opportunity to return it back to the owner," said Richmond Police Lt. William Kelly.

"I wish they took more time and held off for at least a minimum of 48 hours to verify if it had been stolen," added Coleman.

Police say Sims Metal Management usually keeps good records and they do not believe they did anything wrong in this most recent case. In fact, the company is working with police to catch the crooks.

Sims turned over the surveillance video of the suspect, along with a copy of his license and the DMV form he used.

Police have identified that suspect but won't release his name just yet.

"I'm not looking to have anyone locked up forever behind this. I just want to make my whole and correct what was wrong," added Pride.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.