LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Bullitt County Sheriff's Office said they arrested a Shepherdsville man earlier this week for allegedly selling dozens of abandoned vehicles to a local salvage yard for years.
Police said Dwight Lee, 26, was arrested on Jan. 4 following an investigation by the office's Criminal Interdiction Unit.
Investigators said they discovered Lee had sold 13 vehicles to a Shepherdsville salvage yard from Nov. 5, 2021 through Jan. 4, 2022.
Three of those vehicles were reported stolen to the Louisville Metro Police Department.
"Investigators believe Lee would travel the interstates and roadways searching for vehicles that had broken down or been involved in accidents," the sheriff's department said in a social media post.
Police said Lee would then load the vehicles on his trailer and take them to the salvage yard, making a profit of $325-665 per vehicle.
Salvage yard employees alerted authorities when Lee was in the process of dropping off another vehicle.
When officers arrested him, they discovered a loaded 9mm handgun under the driver's seat of his truck and the license plate on his vehicle was also reported stolen to LMPD.
Further investigations by police found that Lee had sold a total of 56 vehicles to the salvage yard between June 1, 2019 and Jan. 4, 2022.
Investigators believe the owners of the abandoned vehicles never reported their cars as stolen, possibly believing they had been removed by a legitimate towing company.
Lee has been charged with three counts of receiving stolen property, possession of handgun by convicted felon, obscuring identity of a machine, theft of motor vehicle registration plate and an outstanding Bullitt County Circuit Court warrant.
Police said anyone who has been unable to locate their vehicle after leaving it on a roadway should contact the Bullitt County Sheriff's Office through the Crime Tip Line: 502-543-1262 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bullitt County Sheriff Walt Sholar is also asking for the public's help in preventing a similar situation in the future.
Sholar said anyone witnessing an unmarked wrecker or vehicle loading any vehicle from the side of the road should call 502-543-7074 and report it so a deputy or officer can investigate the activity.