Friday, October 08, 1999

Motorcycle leads police to tow lot's stolen cars

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A sharp-eyed police officer's examination of a motorcycle led Forest Park police to other stolen vehicles last week. And more could be found through an investigation of paperwork taken from a Walnut Hills auto garage, dealer and towing company.

        Marcus Coleman, an owner of Budd's Towing, 2994 Gilbert Ave., was charged with two felony counts of receiving stolen property after police found vehicles on his lot that had been reported stolen from Springdale and Blue Ash.

        Police also took records that they say show someone at Budd's was illegally distributing temporary license tags to dozens of vehicles. Police are investigating whether any of them were stolen as well.

        Mr. Coleman, 27, of Norwood said the vehicles from Springdale and Blue Ash were towed to his lot from private property and he didn't know they were stolen. As for the temporary tags: “I don't know anything about that, so I can't comment,” he said.

        The trail to Budd's started last Monday at a Forest Park intersection. Officer Pat Anderson saw Kenny Oldfield, 26, of Forest Park repeatedly revving the engine of a 1997 Suzuki Katana motorcycle.

        While giving Mr. Oldfield a written warning, Officer Anderson noticed red spots through the motorcycle's blue paint job. Further investiga tion revealed that the cycle's vehicle identification number (VIN) had been covered with a plate bearing the VIN of an older model Suzuki.

        The motorcycle had been stolen in March from Colerain Township, police found. Mr. Oldfield was charged this week with receiving stolen property and tampering with a VIN plate.

        The motorcycle also carried a temporary license tag from Budd's.

        While investigating at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Forest Park Detective Patrick Carr found that Budd's had received 300 temporary tags this year, although the business had sold only 20 cars.

        The 30-day tags can be issued only by the BMV or by a dealer selling a vehicle.

        Forest Park police executed search warrants at Budd's the next day with BMV investigators and police from Cincinnati and Blue Ash. They found a 1999 Ford pickup that had been reported stolen from Blue Ash and a 1996 Ford Explorer taken from a Springdale Jake Sweeney dealership.

        Police also found that Budd's had just 18 of the 300 temporary license tags left, Detective Carr said.

        In addition, police found a box filled with paperwork from the missing tags that should have been sent to the BMV, Detective Carr said. The papers showed several vehicles had been issued temporary tags several months in a row.


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