Criminal Court Judge Don Poole on Monday set restitution for a man who said a 1980 Buick Regal that had been given him by his brother about 1985 was towed from his home without his knowledge and quickly crushed.
Another hearing is set for next Monday involving another local man, whose 1987 Chevy Monte Carlo was towed from his yard to a scrap business.
Devin Lamar Bynum earlier pleaded guilty in both cases and got two-year suspended sentences.
Police said in both cases the towing was by Expressway Towing.
If a car is more than 12 years old, a title does not have to be presented when the car is brought for scrap.
Judge Poole said, "I find that to be amazing that you can take a car down there and you don't need a title."
He said of the towing company, "You take something out of a person's yard, you ought to have some idea that it is being stolen."
Charles Toney testified that he drove his brother's car for about 10 years, but he still valued it at around $5,000. He said it had $3,000 worth of tools inside when it was stolen. Mr. Toney said he has been a mechanic for 44 years and regularly used the tools.
Bynum said another person had the idea for taking the older vehicles from the owners and getting money to have them scrapped. Asked by prosecutor Cameron Williams who that was, he said he knew him only as "Te Te".
Bynum said he was offered $150 to be at the scrap yard to act as the rightful owner of the vehicles.
He said he did not see any tools in the Toney car, only some clothes.
Defense attorney Robin Flores said he felt the estimates by Mr. Toney were far too high.
Judge Poole set the total value of the Toney loss at $4,000. He directed Bynum to pay him $150 a month.
The hearing next week involves a car that belonged to Anthony Jones of 8th Avenue. He said it was worth $3,000.
He said neighbors saw an Expressway Towing wrecker pull the vehicle from his residence.
Dave Carter of Expressway Towing said he towed the vehicle for Rossville Metals. An official of Rossville Metals said it was bought from Bynum.
The Jones car was crushed and the thieves got $331.87.