Ruin your career $50-$100 at a time...
...they were calling one tow company to pick up the vehicles. The tow company usually paid the officers between $50 and $100 for each car towed.
Officers would look for vehicles with minimal damage, such as ignition switch damage or missing tires. The tow company would then tell the vehicle’s owner it had found their stolen vehicle, which had unspecified damage, and that it worked with a collision shop that would waive the deductible for repairing it.
If the owner agreed to have the work done at that collision shop, employees then would strip vehicles of their motors, transmissions and other major parts without the owners’ knowledge. When a claims adjuster for the owner’s insurance company saw the stripped vehicle, thousands of dollars in damages would be assessed.
The collision shop owner would collect the money, put the parts back on the vehicle and do the minor repairs for the original damage before telling the owner to pick up the vehicle. The owners were never aware of the scheme.