WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A new law is helping officials catch people selling stolen cars to junk yards across our state. After just one month, this bill is seeing some success.
The NC Division of Motor Vehicles' License and Theft Bureau has received 41 reports of stolen vehicles, including three in Wilmington, since December 1. Out of those 41, 22 were stopped from being sold to salvage yards and 19 were confiscated following sales.
The new law requires salvage yards and metal recyclers to verify a vehicle's information before purchasing or selling. And to do so, businesses use an online system to plug in a vehicle's information and quickly get information on the vehicle's status.
It's called North Carolina Identity Management. It cross references a vehicle's vin number with DMV files.
If a vehicle has been stolen, the system will notify state officials while the business owner contacts local authorities.
However, in the past, the process of identifying a stolen vehicle was not as simple.
"We really had no idea. We basically had to go on what the customer would tell us, and we really had no way to check if the vehicle was stolen," said Roger Lord, an employee at Wilmington Scrap Metal LLC.
Businesses are now bound by law to be registered with this system. If not, they could be audited or face felony charges.
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