2 held in vehicle thefts in Rowan, other counties

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 21, 2011

RALEIGH — The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles’ License and Theft Bureau arrested two suspects in Wadesboro Thursday night in at least 19 cases of vehicle theft and cloning, including cases in Rowan County.
More than 20 inspectors with the bureau took part in the six-month investigation that covered 10 counties.
The suspects, Marcus Lawrence Bradley and Marlayna Jerkeisha Stafford, both of 608 Creekridge Drive, Monroe, were arrested at 9:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Walmart at 2004 U.S. Hwy. 74 W., and charged with attempting to sell a stolen cloned vehicle to undercover inspectors.
Bradley, 28, used the alias Laurence Oliver Jackson IV on counterfeit titles and on a South Carolina driver license. He was charged with 15 felony counts ranging from possessing and receiving a stolen vehicle to identity theft, and altering and forging a vehicle title and serial number.
Stafford, 21, was charged with three felony counts also involving possessing and receiving a stolen vehicle, and altering and forging a vehicle title. Both are being held in the Anson County jail under $100,000 secured bonds.
The pair was charged with stealing vehicles in multiple Piedmont and western counties, including Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Union, Anson, Stanly, Davidson, Guilford, Forsyth and Gaston.
Inspectors say vehicle identification plates of the stolen vehicles, mostly older-model Hondas and Nissans, were replaced with VIN plates of junked or salvaged vehicles. Sales of these stolen cloned vehicles were made in parking lots and on roadsides, and were accompanied by fraudulent titles.
A search warrant issued for the suspects’ Monroe residence yielded many items related to vehicle theft and title fraud, including counterfeit titles, fictitious notary seals, fraudulent duplicate title transfer forms, lock pick keys, burglary tools, removed VIN plates, paper stock, computers, printers and scanners.
License and Theft Bureau inspectors, coordinating the arrest out of DMV’s Charlotte office, are continuing the investigation and expect that additional charges will be forthcoming.