RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – NBC12 has uncovered a warning about people stealing cars and scrapping them for money. One Richmond man is in jail facing nearly 20 charges. Police told us his crime spree netted him a boat-load of cash.
Robert Jones allegedly didn't target newer vehicles. Police said the ones taken were more than ten years old. In Virginia, he didn't need to have a title to sell someone else's car.
When Officer William Bingham looked at a wanted poster in the Second Precinct, he knew he had to get his man. Robert Ambrose Jones, Sr. had more than a dozen warrants out for his arrest. He's accused of grand larceny, forging public documents, and possessing stolen goods, among other felonies.
"It was frustrating, especially to the people that own them," Bingham explained. "We have all these victims."
We've uncovered Jones operated an auto-shop in a church in South Richmond. There, he allegedly brought stolen vehicles that were no longer operable.
We're told Jones would call a tow truck saying he needed his car taken away. According to court documents, one company he used frequently was Smart Choice Towing all the way on the north side.
The owner told NBC12 he didn't ask for titles because the vehicles were older. Jones only needed to show an ID and fill out a DMV form, hence the forgery charges. Smart Choice would give him $300 and take the car to the scrap yard. Someone else's vehicle was never to be seen again.
Officer Bingham tracked down Jones by talking to his family. The veteran cop said Jones surrendered and gave detectives all the info they needed to put an end to the crime spree.
"This individual was just going around and stealing what these people work hard for," explained Lt. Angela Greene. "And if he was not stopped by Officer Bingham he would still be out there stealing items from other people."
Jones is in the Richmond Jail. He's due in court March 12th.