Hank: Stolen cars sold for scrap

Now a story you’ll see on just one station: Hank’s exclusive undercover investigation reveals how brazen thieves can tow your car from your driveway and sell it for scrap. It’s obviously illegal, so how do they keep getting away with it? Hank investigates.

You know what you're watching right now? A guy stealing a car!

This may look like a tow truck just doing its job…but it’s actually a car thief yanking this Ford Bronco onto his flatbed!

And it was all caught on these surveillance cameras set up by the car’s owner.

Hank: Did you call the tow truck?

Bob Dion: Not at all!

Hank: Was the tow truck supposed to be here?

Bob Dion: Not at all!

Hank: So bottom line?

Bob Dion: He stole the vehicle.

Bob called Boston police and says they told him he was the victim of a tow-and-go where bad guys using tow trucks steal cars and sell them to salvage yards.

Two weeks ago we broke the story of a big tow-and-go scheme north of Boston. Where this high school students’ Jetta was taken from her Malden driveway.

Police found it like this – crushed by a salvage yard.

And Bob says police say his Bronco was also smashed into a twisted mass of scrap metal.

So how did Bob's car end up in a place like this? We went undercover to find out.

We quickly realized it happens because many salvage yards are ignoring the law.

It’s illegal for these junk yards to buy a car without seeing a title.

But obviously the guys who stole Bob’s Bronco didn’t have his title!

So now this 7News producer is going to offer to sell this 1998 Jeep Cherokee to local salvage yards—and right upfront she’ll tell ‘em she has no title.

That would be an illegal sale so every salvage yard should say NO.

But our first salvage yard operator says YES! He tells our producer: No title, no problem. And instantly offers her $300.

The next dealer also says yes, he would buy it, no title necessary! And offers five hundred dollars!

This one says yes..and so does this one—even when we make it very clear, we have no title for this car!

We went to five places–and four of them were ready to break the law!

I'm Hank Phillippi Ryan from Channel 7

When I went back to find out why—they changed their story–and told me to hit the road.

Hank: You just offered to buy our producers car for 300 dollars

Salvage Yard Dealer: Yes

Salvage Yard Dealer: And you didn't ask for the title!

Guy: Yes I did.

Hank: You offered her $450 for her car

Salvage Yard Dealer: Yes

Hank: with no title

Salvage Yard Dealer: no no, not without a title!

Hank: My producer was just here a couple of minutes ago and–

Salvage Yard Dealer: You can't come in here!

Hank: By law you need a title–why did you offer to buy her car without a title?

Salvage Yard Dealer: You have to leave, you have to leave!

Now we want to be clear – we’re not linking any of these salvage yards to the tow-and-go car thefts.

The only salvage yard that passed our undercover test – this one in Brockton.

The moment they heard we had no title–they told us–no deal!

And when another customer came in–we watched them demand the title from them, too.

Hank: "Every other place we went said they’d take our car without a title.

Salvage Yard Dealer: Well, good luck to them

Hank: That's illegal!

Salvage Yard Dealer: Well, we're not doing it the wrong way, we're doing it the right way."

We found the tow and go scheme also works-because tow trucks are such a common sight-no one suspects they could be actually stealing cars! So -if you see a tow truck at your neighbor's house – call your local police and let them make sure it's legit.

(Copyright (c) 2012 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)