Tow truck drivers accused of stealing cars to sell for scrap


by Brian Farrell

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 31 at 7:37 AM

PORTSMOUTH -- Two men are accused of stealing at least two cars from people's homes to sell them for scrap metal.

Police say Shawn Fiorito and Anthony Owens used their tow trucks to take older junk cars from people's property.

The older cars are made with heavier metals, which scrap metal yards will pay more for.

"In these particular cases, the scrap metal companies are giving you know, $500 to $700 for the vehicles for the metals in vehicles, and these particular cases, again, they're targeting heavier vehicles with heavier metals in them, which would be the older style vehicles," said Detective Jan Westerbeck.

Older vehicles are also easier to unload, because people scrapping cars older than a decade don't have to provide the paperwork they do for newer cars.

Fiorito owns Big's Wrecker Service in Norfolk, and Owens, his employee, also had access to another tow truck he ran out of a garage in Portsmouth.

"In the surveillance footage from the scrap metal locations, these trucks are bringing the particular vehicles to the scrap metal," said Detective Westerbeck.

Detective Westerbeck says police know of two definite car drops involving the two men.

Investigators also found an engine block from a car stolen in January 2011 at Fiorito's garage.

That would mean the side business they're accused of having started more than a year and a half ago.

Police arrested Fiorito, and took his tow truck.

They also found his garage to be unsafe.

Investigators were still looking for Owens on Thursday.