Three Wilson residents have been charged with stealing broken down vehicles along a major Eastern Carolina highway and then selling them to scrap dealers.
Pitt County deputies have charged Lamont Speight, Maurice Ruffin and Shaiesha Holden with stealing two vehicles that were parked along U.S. 264, while the trio face similar charges in Nash, Wilson and Wayne counties.
Deputies say the three would find the broken down vehicles, hook them up to Speight's pickup truck and drive them to a salvage yard in Clayton where they were sold as scrap. All of the vehicles were subsequently reported as stolen by their owners.
Lawmen searched Speight's home late last month where they found a license plate that came from a car stolen in Nash County as well as a stolen John Deere lawn mower and a stolen utility trailer.
In North Carolina, according to investigators, if a vehicle is older than ten years you do not need to provide a title to sell it at a salvage yard.
Deputies say more charges are likely against the three as they continue to locate additional victims in the case.