DURHAM — A scheme that had hired tow trucks being used steal cars over 10 years old from Durham owners and sell them to junk yards led to charges against a man whom sheriff's deputies are seeking, they said Tuesday.
Terryon Lamont Mceachin, 23, of 2307 Kristy Place in Durham was wanted on charges of obtaining property by false pretense for selling the cars and larceny of motor vehicles for the thefts, authorities said.
Deputies also want to arrest him on previous outstanding charges unrelated to the car case, including identity theft and fraud, they said.
A Durham County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Dep. Paul Sherwin, said investigators did not believe the tow-truck operators hired in the scheme knew what was going on, and they are not being charged.
The scheme involved Mceachin’s stopping at a home where he saw a car more than 10 years old in a yard or driveway and offering to buy it, Sherwin explained.
If the owner agreed, Mceachin would say he was going to get money for payment, but then come back with a hired tow truck and have the vehicle hauled to a salvage yard, where he would sell it, Sherwin said.
The scheme worked, Sherwin explained. because a portion of state law allows vehicles over 10 years old to be sold for salvage or recycling without a certificate of title, so the dealers to whom Mceachin sold the cars did nothing illegal.
What salvagers do have, however, is records of those buys, and that led detectives to Mceachin, Sherwin said.
After the sale, Mceachin would pay the tow-truck driver and keep the rest of the cash he got, Sherwin said.
Deputies asked that anyone with information about the car scheme or Mceachin’s whereabouts call the sheriff’s crime tip line at 919-560-0940 or Durham CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200.
CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of persons wanted for felony crimes, and callers never have to identify themselves.