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Three face four yrs. in prison for scrapping cars: DA

TimesLedger Newspapers

LONG ISLAND CITY — Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced that two men and a woman were charged with taking 32 vehicles that had been stolen off Queens streets and elsewhere to a nearby scrap yard, where they were to be sold as scrap metal and crushed.

Jamaica resident Pedro Lopez, 20, and Brooklyn residents Jose Montenegro, 27, and Jennifer Avila, 26, were awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court after being charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, third-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle and first-degree falsifying business records, Brown said. If convicted, they each face up to four years in prison, according to the DA.

According to Brown, most of the vehicles were Ford Econoline vans, for which the defendants were allegedly paid $600 to $700 per vehicle.

“These defendants are accused of taking advantage of a quirk in the law in which individuals can dispose of vehicles that are eight years or older without proof of title,” Brown said. “They simply show their driver’s license at the scrap yard, fill out a DMV form stating that they are the delivery agent or the vehicle’s owner and leave with cash in their pocket.”

According to criminal charges, the defendants allegedly delivered a total of 32 vehicles to a Queens scrap yard between April 2012 and August 2012. Police recovered 21 of the stolen vehicles before they were crushed, Brown said.

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