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Car stolen from side of road, scrapped
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An Allenhurst woman discovered her car was sold for scrap and crushed after it was stolen earlier this month.
Norene Mozingo said her 1995 Mercury Tracer had run out of gas on Interstate 95 near mile marker 79 just north of Midway the morning of Jan. 7. Mozingo called her mother for a ride to her doctor’s office and left the car on the side of the highway. When she returned that afternoon the car was gone.
“I didn’t think this would happen to me,” Mozingo said. “The car was in good condition; it had no scratches. We locked it up.”
Mozingo called the Georgia State Patrol to inquire if they had information on her car. When the GSP told her they had no information, she reported the vehicle stolen to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. Mozingo also took action on her own.
Her boyfriend checked out some Savannah salvage companies. They discovered the car had been sold for scrap to Savannah Recycling LLC allegedly by Harvey Johnson for $247.
“The man who sold them the car said it was his,” Mozingo said. Harvey signed a statement claiming he was the car’s lawful owner.
Mozingo said the company should have required Johnson to produce a title or registration to prove ownership before buying the vehicle.
Savannah Recycling reported Johnson to the Garden City police when he returned on Jan. 8 with another vehicle to sell for scrap, she said.
Johnson was turned over to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office for questioning and was arrested after being interviewed by deputies, LCSO Det. Jeff Hein said. Johnson was charged with theft by taking. He posted bond and was released the next day, according to Hein.
Hein said Mozingo’s case is unfortunate, but not uncommon.
“If the car is 12 model years old or older, a title is not required (to sell for scrap),” the detective said.
Hein suggests if one’s car breaks down, have the vehicle towed immediately or have someone stay with it until it can be moved. Also, contact law enforcement.
Cars abandoned on the roadside are prime targets for car thieves or can quickly be stripped for parts, he explained.
 “This is not the first time this has happened,” the LCSO detective said.
Hein encourages residents to call the LCSO, police or GSP if they witness “something suspicious.”
“If someone you’ve never seen before comes to your home, and you’ve lived there 20 years and know everybody, and asks if so-and-so lives across the street, they could be casing houses to commit burglary,” he said.

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