Georgia Tow Truck Driver Scammed to Steal Tow Trucks, Scammer Arrested

May 10th, 2011 | By | Category: National News

An Acworth-area, Ga., man is accused of conning a tow truck driver into stealing cars for him with stolen titles, according to a news report.

The arrest report states that a man and his wife witnessed suspicious activity after three motorcycles and an unspecified number of vehicles, including a blue van, were taken from a residence in Pine Brook. Driver Daniel Ray was stopped by Officer Torre Jennings from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, April 12, with the same blue van hooked on his tow truck. The neighbor who had called in the suspicious activity pointed out Ray’s truck to Jennings as he followed him, the report states.

Ray told Jennings he was taking the van as payment for towing three other vehicles for a man named “Donnie” a.k.a. Donald Wayne Russell, 55, of Acworth. He had met him through another driver, Johnny Howard, according to the report.

Howard later told Officer Jennings he referred Russell to Ray because he didn’t want to do business with him because he believed he was involved in drug activity, the report states.

Ray said one of the other vehicles he towed for Russell to Red Top Mountain Estates in Bartow County was a van with a four-wheel ATV and tools in the back. The other vehicle was a white Mazda RX7 towed to Port Victoria Subdivision in Woodstock, according to the report.

Russell showed Ray the titles signed over to him for the vehicles, the tow truck driver said, and explained he bought them from a friend who was moving back to New York, the report states.

The last vehicle on the schedule, a Mercedes, has not been picked up yet.

Jennings confirmed with the Pine Brook resident via telephone that he had not sold any vehicles to Russell, whom he said he did not know, and that the titles should be in his home. Deputy McCoy found that the house appeared to have been burglarized and entered through the garage, according to the report.

The van was returned to the proper residence later that night. Russell was booked in the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center at 11:22 p.m. that night on a $39,700 bail and he faces five charges of automobile theft and one charge of burglary. He was released on a property bond April 20.