Buncombe Co. Deputies: Car Towed, Crushed Without Owner's Permis - WSPA.com

Buncombe Co. Deputies: Car Towed, Crushed Without Owner's Permission

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. -

Investigators with the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office say April Honeycutt and her husband's old, damaged sportscar was towed to a metal recycler where it was crushed for scrap.

"The car had senitmental value," said April Honeycutt.

The car, a 1992 Nissan 240SX once belonged to April's mother.

The couple was keeping it at a relative's house to use for spare parts until a thief had the vehicle removed from the property.

Jeffrey Lee Owenby, 40, of Asheville was charged with larceny of a motor vehicle and obtaining property by false pretense.

Investigators say the man told the wrecker service that towed the car he was moving and wanted the vehicle crushed.

"It was very upsetting to me that the wrecker service asked for no proof of ID,"April said.

She has since learned in North Carolina, if a vehicle is older than 10 years, no proof of ownership is needed to have it towed or crushed.

"I don't think a lot of people are aware of this issue," said Jason Honeycutt. "I am sure we are not the first couple this has happened to."

Jason is correct. According to the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office, there were seven cases of this nature last year.

A spokesperson for Asheville Police say more and more stolen vehicles are being recovered from scrap yards.

"We turn away vehicles quite frequently because they don't have anything to show it is theirs," said Blake Cloninger with Biltmore Iron and Metal.

At Biltmore Iron and Metal, no matter the age of the car, the seller must prove ownership before it's hauled away.

What upsets the couple even more than losing their car, they say, it's the feeling that the current law failed to protect them.

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