Reserve Township, Pennsylvania (KDKA) – A car junkyard in Reserve Township was accused of failing to remove license plates from scrap vehicles.
The Pennsylvania State Police Pittsburgh Vehicle Fraud Investigator filed 58 misdemeanor counts and 804 summary charges against Rusty Hook Auto Salvage.
Back in September, investigators conducted a routine salvage yard audit and found that several vehicles with Pennsylvania license plates still attached were still under the name of transfer.
“If the car is recovered, it’s the salvage company that removes the plates and stickers and contacts PennDOT for proper paperwork,” said trooper Rico Gagliardi.
By not removing the plates, the car looks like it belongs to the owner. This makes the owner legally responsible for what happened while the plate was in the car.
For example, if a plate is stolen from a salvage yard, installed on another vehicle, and that vehicle drives down the turnpike, the plate registrant will be responsible for the charges.
“Then you know you could be fined thousands of dollars from E-Zpass tolls, parking tickets, etc. Your name is still on that plate.” Gagliardi said.
KDKA-TV stopped by the still-open yard for comment. They closed the gate and blocked our view with his pickup truck.
State Police suggest taking matters into your own hands to avoid getting your license plate on another vehicle.
“You can take your own plate,” says Gagliardi.
They also found that the shipyard’s certificate of approval and dealer plates were all expired.
The investigation is still ongoing.