Lawmaker wants to stop rogue tow truckers from stealing cars - KCTV5

Lawmaker wants to stop rogue tow truckers from stealing cars

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A Missouri lawmaker is working to change the law to put a stop to rogue tow truck drivers cashing in on people's cars.

Missouri State Representative Jeremy LaFaver, who is in his first term, wants people to know he's listening to them. He filed legislation to make it harder for criminals to steal people's cars and says it's a direct result of their letters, emails and phone calls.

"It was a number of constituents that sent emails and then your (KCTV's) story," LaFaver said.

Both were questioning a state law passed in 2012 that allows people to scrap vehicles 10 years or older without a title. The problem is that rogue tow truck drivers started taking cars and cashing them in at scrap metal yards.

LaFaver wants to repeal that law.

"Just change it back to the way it was before, to where you have to have a certificate of title if it's under 20 years old," he said.

When the law went into effect, Kansas City Police say thefts of older vehicles jumped nearly 20 percent and in St. Louis thefts jumped 36 percent.

"The reason that they passed this law is in rural areas, people are dumping vehicles on farmers' lands and all over the place, and people are unable to get rid of these cars. So it made sense to me why they passed the law. I just don't think that they saw this unintended consequence and who would have seen rogue tow truck drivers running around stealing cars," LaFaver said.

Ideally, the Democrat wants to see a Kansas City ordinance become state law. That ordinance places a 72-hour hold on scrap yards.

"You've got to have certainly longer than 14 minutes to be able to report your vehicle stolen - giving people enough time to report and possibly find their stolen car before it's gone forever," LaFaver said. "It was one of those things you look at and say, ‘I'm in a position to potentially make a difference here and I need to try.'"

LaFaver is working closely with State Sen. Jason Holsman who represents the Kansas City area. Holsman will introduce similar legislation in the Senate.

The Missouri General Assembly convenes Jan. 9.

LaFaver said he's pushing for this change after he saw the stories on KCTV5 It's Your Morning.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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