Philly Tow Truck Driver Charged With Illegally Towing Cars and Selling Them

And it's not the first time.

Tow truck driver Louis Amaro. (Philadelphia Police Department photo)

Tow truck driver Louis Amaro. (Philadelphia Police Department photo)

Having your car towed is one of the more mind-bogglingly frustrating experiences of living, working and playing in Philadelphia. But having your car stolen by a tow truck driver, well, that pretty much takes the cake.

The Philadelphia Police Department has arrested 37-year-old Philadelphia tow truck driver Louis Amaro, accusing him of using his tow truck to steal cars and then selling them, usually for parts or scrap.

The cars were allegedly stolen between December 16th and January 25th from neighborhoods in North Philadelphia and Tacony, including one on Amaro’s own block on Palmetto Street. There were three Honda Civics, one Honda Accord, one Chevy Tracker and a Mazda MZ-6, all older models with the oldest dating back to 1994, according to police.

Given the reported age of the cars, it’s not surprising that this wasn’t a particularly lucrative scheme. Prosecutors say that another tow truck driver paid Amaro $60 for one of the cars in question, unaware that the car had been stolen. That tow truck driver then allegedly scrapped the car for $128, and police were able to nab Amaro through those sales records. The tow truck driver who scrapped the car positively identified Amaro from a photo array, say police, and is willing to testify against him.

Amaro has been charged with six counts each of theft and receiving stolen property, and he’s not exactly unfamiliar with the judicial system. Court records indicate that he has thirteen prior arrests, seven for theft.

In 2011, he was charged with — that’s right — illegally towing and scrapping a car. He pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft and was sentenced to up to 23 months in prison. He also entered guilty pleas on drug and terroristic threat charges in separate cases.

Amaro is currently housed at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Northeast Philadelphia. He’s scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 23rd in front of Judge Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde.

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