VINs Lead To Demise Of NYC Man’s Car Towing Scheme

Estimated read time 2 min read

It would have been the perfect crime if not for those annoying numbers!

Criminals in general are really dumb and that’s probably a good thing, although one could argue that’s why they break the law in the first place. After all, there are all kinds of measures in place to make getting rid of something like a stolen vehicle legitimately all but impossible. A 21-year-old New York City man named Franklin Payne allegedly learned this the hard way after his car towing scheme landed him in some serious legal trouble.

Watch a guy try running from the cops on a moped.

According to New York Daily News, Payne has been accused of illegally towing Hondas, Nissan, Kias, Volkswagens, and Fords which were parked on the side of the road in East New York, Brooklyn, and southwest Queens starting in February until he was caught in May.

The guy reportedly only targeted vehicles which were at least eight years old, because apparently in New York you can take those to a junkyard and sell them for scrap without presenting a title. Seems that law should be changed considering the average age of cars on public roads today is far beyond eight years.

Payne forgot one thing: even though he could sell the cars for scrap without a title, the junkyards still recorded the VINs on each one. Detectives from the NYPD Auto Crime unit regularly run the VINs of vehicles reported as stolen through the national database, which includes junkyards. Sure enough, they got a bunch of hits and those led back to Payne.

The lesson to be learned here is if you have come up with a similar hare-brained scheme to steal cars, just stop right there, get a legitimate job, and apply all your scheming to legal activities. Sure, it’s not always a shortcut to instant success, but getting arrested for stealing a bunch of cars isn’t exactly going to put you on the fast track to financial independence.

Image credit Vladyslav Huivyk

Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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