Vehicle Rebirthing Is A Growing Problem
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Find out more about this auto scam.
A bust vehicle recently rebuilt in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia was meant to serve as a warning to car buyers around the world. A special vehicle crime squad arrested 18 people who they claim are tied to an organized crime syndicate in the area. The authorities also confiscated over 70 cars. Dozens of charges were brought against those arrested, including vehicle theft and handling of stolen goods. And while this was all happening on the other side of the world, these programs don't just stay in one place. In fact, there have been cases of rebirthing in North America, and we expect it will be more common.
If you're like most of them, the term "vehicle rebirthing" sounds completely strange and funny. You need to know what it is and how it works so that, hopefully, you don't become a victim of it.
When criminals reincarnate a vehicle, they take identifying parts from a car and put them on a stolen one that is the same make and model. Usually the donor vehicle was destroyed so there is less chance of someone finding out what was done.
Unfortunately, buying a reborn car can mean suddenly being without a vehicle. It is still stolen property, whether you knew it or not, and the police can legally confiscate your car. Getting a vehicle history report and checking that all chassis numbers match is one way to protect yourself from this type of fraud. If one of the VIN plates looks like it has been removed, the corners of the plate are curled, or the screws that hold it in place are damaged at all, there is a high chance the car has been reborn.
This operation sounds pretty nifty. The police issued 32 arrest warrants in private homes and businesses. During these searches, they confiscated 53 cars from brands such as BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Subaru, Mini, Volkswagen, Ford, Nissan, Holden and Audi. They also confiscated 18 motorcycles such as Kawasakis and Harley-Davidsons. Vehicle parts were also confiscated during the raids, including 19 car engines.
While not shocking, authorities say some of the vehicles that were seized were used in other crimes.
The investigation into this crime ring lasted 9 months. According to the Australian authorities, the group is involved not only in the rebirth of cars, but also in drug trafficking. The total value of all property seized by the police is reportedly over $ 2.5 million.
Source: The North Central Review
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