Tow Truck Car Thefts on the Rise

An alert neighbor on Bobwhite Drive in Winnsboro foiled an attempted motor vehicle theft last week and exposed what Fairfield County Sheriff’s investigators are calling an up-and-coming trend.

At 6:46 p.m. on Oct. 10, a 57-year-old man living in the 300 block of Bobwhite Drive heard what sounded like a large truck backing up outside his home. When he stepped outside to investigate, he saw a tow truck backing into his neighbor’s yard across the street, preparing to haul away his neighbor’s car. When he approached the truck, the driver told him that the car had been sold to someone living at Winnsboro Arms Apartments and the new owner was having the vehicle towed to him there.

But the 57-year-old neighbor was not just a neighbor of the potential victim, he was also her cousin and, according to the incident report, he knew his cousin had not sold her car and told the tow truck driver to leave the property. Before the driver left, the neighbor noted the name on the side of the truck: Joe’s Truck and Auto Repair, out of Chester. He was also able to get a name from the driver: Kenny Mac, although Sheriff’s investigators doubt this is his real name.

The Sheriff’s Office said wrecker services that appear legitimate, pulling into yards and stealing vehicles has become a recent trend, both in Fairfield and surrounding counties. In recent weeks, the Sheriff’s Office said, they have received calls from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office following up on tow trucks bearing markings identifying them as Fairfield County companies that have stolen cars from Newberry County homes. None of them have been legitimate towing companies, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“We are increasing our awareness and taking a closer look at wrecker companies,” Capt. Brad Douglas said. “Of course, all of our guys know all of our local wrecking companies. We are hoping neighbors can observe stuff like this and help us make an arrest.”

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