A Howard Beach man was arraigned last week on charges that he sent a dozen stolen cars to be scrapped and raked in hundreds of dollars for himself, according to Queens DA Richard Brown.
John Brew, 35, was arraigned last Friday on a criminal complaint charging him with 12 counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, 12 counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, 12 counts of first-degree falsifying business records and 12 counts of third-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle.
According to the criminal charges, Brew allegedly delivered a total of twelve vehicles to Universal Scrap Processes and Gershow Recycling facilities between Feb. 4 and April 7 of this year for the purpose of having the vehicles crushed in exchanged for a sum of cash.
In each case, Brew allegedly presented a New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Form, MV-35 — which is used to transfer a vehicle at least eight model years old and worth less then $1250 to a vehicle dismantler, itinerant vehicle collector or certified scrap processor when the owner does not have the title — signed by him and listing himself as the vehicle owner. In addition, he provided a New York State driver’s license with his name and picture. In many cases, it is alleged that the vehicle’s ignition was broken and the plastic keyholder was placed back into position and a bogus Ford key was placed into the ignition to make it look like Brew had the key. Brew was allegedly paid $600 to $750 per vehicle.
The twelve vehicles, which were reported stolen between February and April of this year, included two Dodge Caravans, model years 1993 and 1995, and ten Ford Econoline Vans with the model years ranging from 1998 through 2006.
Brew, who faces up to four years in prison if convicted, was ordered held on $10,000 bail and to return to court on May 16.
Brown said under state law, people can dispose of vehicles eight years or older without proof of title and criminals have been taking advantage of that loophole.