MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OR (KPTV) — A man accused of stealing hundreds of cars and selling them for a profit has been sentenced to five years of formal probation and 200 hours of community service, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.
Carlos Lopez Torres, 52, must also pay just over $11,000 in combined restitution and compensatory fines after a judge convicted him of stealing cars, acting as a vehicle dealer without a certificate and other crimes related to him conducting a motor vehicle business without a certificate, the attorney’s office says.
During a two-day trial in February, the state presented evidence to show that Torres used a homemade tow truck to steal cars throughout the Portland metro area, making more than $100,000 through his efforts, the attorney’s office says.
The state also presented evidence that Torres after taking the cars falsely completed DMV-provided lien paperwork so that he could sell the vehicles to a scrap metal dealer in Portland without providing normal ownership documents.
“Additional trial evidence showed that Lopez Torres paid a finder’s fee to others for locating vehicles for him that were easy targets to be towed,” the attorney’s office said. “The victims who lost their vehicles were often people who could least afford to lose their vehicle.”
The court found Lopez Torres guilty of two counts of trafficking in stolen vehicles, one count of acting as a vehicle dealer without a certificate, one count of conducting a motor vehicle dismantling business without a certificate, one count of false swearing related to a vehicle registration, and 96 counts of making a false statement on a title or transfer of vehicle document.
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