Police: Tow truck driver steals cars, gets money
A Framingham tow truck driver was arrested Monday, accused of taking cars without approval from the tow lot to a salvage yard to be crushed, so he could get money, police said.
David Isenberg, 46, is charged with one count of larceny of a vehicle, but investigators said they believe Isenberg illegally took several vehicles from Smitty's Towing to the Framingham Salvage yard to be destroyed, said police spokesman Lt. Paul Shastany.
Smitty's owner K.C. Snow said he believes Isenberg took as many as 30 cars without his knowledge.
``It truly amazes me people can't be honest,'' said Snow. ``I'm disgusted. I feel naive. I'm usually on top of everything. I got taken.''
On Monday, Snow received a call from the salvage yard about the number of cars he was sending over to be crushed, Shastany said.
The problem was, Snow had no idea what the caller from the salvage yard was talking about.
``He (Snow) was surprised because he has never sent, or authorized, cars to be sent over to the salvage yard,'' Shastany said.
Snow and Framingham Police Lt. Greg Reardon went to the salvage yard together on Monday and spoke to employees there. They said Isenberg had been hauling cars there nearly every day for the past month. He brought a 1993 Ford Bronco on Monday and received $264 in return, police said.
``With that info, they went into the yard, and Snow said, `That's my car,''' Shastany said.
A customer had given the Bronco to Snow, and he kept it in the Smitty's tow yard. He had no idea it was missing - or that Isenberg had towed it away. Isenberg has worked on and off for Smitty's for four years, Snow said. He was always a trusted employee.
The cars were easy to miss, Snow said. The lot has more than 100 vehicles in it at a time, and it appeared Isenberg would take one or two a day, which were quickly replaced by the nightly tows, Snow said.
``There are some vehicles that were salvageable, the majority were junks, but there were some that were fine,'' said Snow. ``I'm afraid of the aftershock. I run a legitimate business. I always have. I'm honest, and this happened. Honestly, I still don't believe it.''
All of the vehicles taken to be destroyed were legally towed, either by order of a police department or area property managers, Shastany said. Snow should not be blamed, the lieutenant said.
``He's a good businessman,'' said Shastany. ``This no way reflects poorly on Mr. Snow. We commend him for contacting us immediately.''
Isenberg, of 126 Beaver Street, was charged with only one count of larceny of a vehicle, but more charges could come when police confirm exactly how many vehicles he took, the lieutenant said.
``This is a unique case,'' said Shastany. ``This is just the beginning.''
Isenberg pleaded not guilty at his Framingham District Court arraignment yesterday and was released without bail. He is due back in court Oct. 1 for a pretrial conference.
Isenberg no longer works for Smitty's Towing, Snow said.
``When they arrested him, he was in my office and I said to him, `What would your parents say? What are your folks going to say to you? Aren't you ashamed of yourself?' '' said Snow. ``He kind of fluffed it off.''
Norman Miller of The MetroWest (Mass.) Daily News can be reached at 508-626-3823 or at email@example.com.