Police say auto theft ring attempted to recycle stolen cars

Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 3:16pm
Staff reports
Michelle Phillips, Mario Harney, Howell Glenn and Dorcas Murray are suspected of stealing older model vehicles and selling them for recycling.

Metro police say a partnership between detectives and scrap metal yards, including PSC Metals, Pull-A-Part and Metal Management, has led to the arrest of three men and one woman in connection with sales and attempted sales of older model stolen vehicles.

Employees of PSC notified police Wednesday after Mario Harney, 29, Howell Glenn and Michelle Phillips, both 54, towed a stolen van to the recycling center on South Third Street.

Detectives believe they may be involved in a number of thefts across Nashville in which they allegedly towed older model vehicles that were parked in alleys or along residential streets to sell as scrap metal.

On Monday, detectives in Metro police's auto theft division charged Dorcas Renee Murray, 54, with auto theft for allegedly selling a 1972 Ford F-150 pickup truck stolen from Chesapeake Place to Pull-A-Part on Centennial Boulevard.

An additional warrant was taken out against Murray on Wednesday, charging her with selling a 1972 Chevrolet pickup truck stolen from W.H. Davis Drive in north Nashville to Metal Management on Linder Industrial Drive.

Murray, of Walter S. Davis Boulevard, is believed to have been acting in concert with Harney, Glenn and Phillips. She has prior convictions for cocaine possession, leaving the scene of an accident, criminal impersonation, gambling and driving on a revoked license.

Harney, Glenn and Phillips are each charged with one count of auto theft, police said.

In addition, Harney is charged with domestic assault and aggravated burglary for breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s residence last month. Harney, of Qualynn Drive, has previous convictions for felony cocaine possession, convicted felon in possession of a weapon and DUI.

Phillips, of Hamilton Avenue, is a convicted felon for cocaine possession and aggravated assault.

Glenn, of Scovel Street, has been convicted of drug possession.

The investigation continues and additional charges are anticipated, police said.

3 Comments on this post:

By: idgaf on 2/5/10 at 2:59

It actually sounds like they were doing what the city should have been doing.

There is a big difference between stolen cars and abandoned cars. This isn't a "Chop Shop" operation that they broke up. It is more like they were recycling aluminum cans.

By: njmccune on 2/5/10 at 9:06

Yes, it is a crime and yet my first thought was maybe Metro should hire them. Kill two birds with a rock... they would be earning money and our streets would recieve a needed clean up!

By: sidneyames on 2/5/10 at 12:36

idgaf, I have to agree with you, unless it's one like hubby had: 1965 vintage Ford Bronco that he drove daily.

So yeah, "recycling aluminum cans" -- real big ones! great post.