Tow truck driver gets 6 years prison for stealing, selling cars for scrap in Portland – Fox 12 Oregon

MULTNOMAH COUNTY Ore. (KPTV) – A 52-year-old man is facing just over six years in prison for illegally towing and selling multiple vehicles for scrap in the Portland area.

Joseph Beard was convicted on April 11 after being arrested Jan. 5, as part of ‘Operation MistleTow’, an ongoing investigation by the Auto Theft Task Force and Portland Police Bureau.

On Friday, he was sentenced in Multnomah County Court to six years and three months in prison.

The investigation found the illegal towing and sales to a scrap metal business happened between late August and early November 2023.

According to the district attorney’s office, investigators determined that Maters Auto Recycling – the company Beard was affiliated with, had a history of falsifying purchase paperwork for stolen vehicles before selling them to Rivergate Scrap Metal.

The DA’s office identified dozens of vehicles that had been sold by Maters Auto Recycling to Rivergate, many of which were crushed shortly after being sold.

A 58-year-old man was arrested Friday and charged with using a tow truck operation to steal cars and sell them for scrap.

On Friday, two victims spoke ahead of Beard’s sentencing.

One man said his family’s stolen vehicle wasn’t just a vehicle.

“It was a vehicle we had sentimental value to our family,” he said. “We had kept it in a very, very good shape and I’m thinking that is why Mr. Beard took that vehicle.”

A woman also spoke.

“I just feel sorry for him to a point, and I’m glad I got a chance to speak about it,” she said. “And I really, really say I hope a lesson has been learned.”

As of now, no charges have been filed against the company that bought the stolen vehicles for scrap.


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