Beginning this week, metal recyclers and salvage yards will require sellers of older model cars to show proof of ownership before a purchase. In July, the General Assembly enacted House Bill 26, Strengthen Laws/Vehicle Theft, which went into effect Dec. 1.
In June, we wrote about a legal loophole allowing car thieves to sell vehicles that are at least 10 years old to scrapyards without providing a title or registration documents. The article detailed a two-week binge in which Terryon McEachin, a 23-year-old from Durham, hired local tow truck companies to haul 11 old cars from his victims’ residences to scrap yards. In each case, McEachin represented himself as the car owner and collected money from the sale.
The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has introduced a system requiring metal recyclers and salvage yards to verify whether a vehicle brought to them without a title and more than 10 years old has been reported stolen.
All North Carolina salvage yards and recyclers are being notified that they must register with the Department of Transportation to access the new system. If a vehicle is reported stolen, the system will notify the salvage yard or recycling business to verify the vehicle identification number and stop the purchase of the vehicle. The business must also notify their local law enforcement agency.
McEachin, who is still detained in the Durham Jail, is scheduled for a court hearing today.