On Tuesday, May 25, at 11 a.m. Officer Glowa, who is assigned to the precinct’s Anti-crime Unit, was patrolling the southeastern portion of the precinct bordering the Van Wyck Expressway looking for auto theft suspects.
Courtesis said that on 134th Street between Sutter and 131st Avenues in South Ozone Park, Officer Glowa observed three men attempting to load a 2004 Ford Focus onto a tow truck. The inspector added that Glowa, well aware that this area had seen a spike in auto thefts, decided to investigate further.
He asked the individuals what was wrong with the vehicle and why it was being towed. One of the individuals claimed it was his car and he was having it removed from his property. According to Courtesis, the tow truck operator produced an MV-35 signed by one of the individuals who was at the scene. The inspector explained that an MV-35 is a state motor vehicle form prepared when an individual does not have the car’s title.
Courtesis said Officer Glowa felt something was wrong, since it is common for scrappers to forge the MV-35s and bring the car to a dismantler, where it can be cashed in for the weight of the metal in the vehicle.
The inspector said that during Glowa’s investigation the true owner of the vehicle came home and wanted to know why his vehicle was being loaded onto a tow truck.
The three individuals were arrested. Courtesis said the tow truck operator had 11 prior arrests and was on parole until 2016, and had seven prior auto theft arrests. The inspector said the second individual had eight prior arrests, five of which were violent felony arrests. Courtesis said the individual who was claiming that the car was his had seven prior arrests.