Police: fake tow truck driver targeted storm victims - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Police: fake tow truck driver targeted storm victims

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Atlanta police arrested a man who was stealing abandoned cars on the highway. Officers said he was posing as a tow truck driver.

They said it was the first large scale operation they've seen targeting storm victims.

Officer Jamael Logan spotted a suspicious wrecker on Thursday around noon on Pullium Street in Atlanta.

"He thought the marking on the tow truck were suspicious. It didn't have the markings we're used to and a temporary license plate," said Sgt. Greg Lyon, PIO, Atlanta police department.

Police attempted to pull the wrecker over, but the driver and the passenger jumped out and fled. Officers found the driver hiding in nearby home. They arrested Louis Mitchell, 34, on numerous charges.

Officers said a Toyota Camry was on the wrecker and they were able to contact the owner immediately who said she did not give anyone permission to tow her car. The owner told CBS Atlanta when she arrived at the scene, the car had already been stripped of parts.

Police said they found three more stolen vehicles in a yard on Washington Street.

All the vehicles had been abandoned on the highway in Atlanta or in DeKalb County, according to officers.

Police said the tow truck used to commit the crimes was also stolen. It had been taken from a dealership in Atlanta.

Officers notified the owners of the stolen vehicles.

Police are still investigating and there could be more arrests.

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