NEW YORK CITY, N.Y (WIVB) - Undercover officers with the NYPD's auto crime division stopped the driver of an out of state two truck to make sure he had the right paperwork and was there to do the job he was contracted for.
They are on the lookout for tow trucks and their drivers to make sure they are doing their job correctly and legally.
It's one of many stops they'll make in the Rockaway's where cars were tossed around like toys from Hurricane Sandy.
Many will have to be totaled, but the NYPD is concerned about wrongful tow truck operators stealing the cars before insurance companies can get to them.
A two truck driver can get as much as $500 per vehicle at the junkyard.
Deputy Inspector Joseph Kenney from the NYPD Auto Crime Division says, "New York City has never had an incident like this before, so we reached out to Louisiana State Police and the New Orleans Police Department to see how they dealt with the aftermath of Katrina."
Kenney says some two truck drivers are pretending they're contracted by the city and are scamming storm victims by holding their vehicles hostage.
"They're securing real estate throughout the city either legally or illegally and they're stacking cars in these locations and contacting owners and saying we had to tow your car, and now you have to pay me $1,000 storage fee and a $1,000 tow," Kenney said.
So far, police have arrested four unlicensed tow operators and they're on the lookout for more.
The undercover patrol that was shadowed in the Rockaway's was just one of several working the area.
Kenney says, "I know of one arrest that patrol made in the Howard Beach area where a gentleman was arrested for trying to steal a Porsche out of the flood zones."
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