Law enforcement officers in the Jacksonville area and throughout Florida are cracking down on people who are stealing vehicles to change their identity for resale or to strip them for parts or scrap metal. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) recently arrested six people in Jacksonville who are accused of stealing cars and buying stolen cars to break them down for parts or sell them for the scrap metal, according to an article on News4jax.com. The arrests were part of a specific effort to crack down on people stealing cars for this purpose.
The Florida legislature has also been involved in addressing the issue of stolen cars. A new law was recently passed which made it illegal for salvage companies and others to salvage a car for scrap metal or strip it for parts without the title to the vehicle. In the past, people could sell old cars to salvage yards without the title, and the salvage yards would break the cars down or crush them and sell the parts or the metal. Requiring the person selling the vehicle to the salvage yard to provide the title to the vehicle presumably lends some legitimacy to the transaction and helps prevent people from quickly selling stolen vehicles to the salvage company, although fake titles are fairly common and many people keep their titles in the glove compartment.
Apparently, Jacksonville police also used Craigslist as a way to investigate this crime by going after people who advertised that they would buy old cars without requiring the title. Such advertisements are now against the law due to the recent change in the law.