Police: Inspector Involved In Towing Scheme

Investigators Say Man Diverted Abandoned Vehicles

An Indianapolis code enforcement inspector was arrested Monday morning in an alleged scheme in which abandoned vehicles were diverted to tow lots, crushed and shredded.

Chad Frye, 38, was arrested on charges of theft, official misconduct and corrupt business practices.

Investigators said Frye, who was hired in April 2009, illegally towed and disposed of up to 10 vehicles, 6News' Jack Rinehart reported.

Indianapolis police Lt. Jeff Duhamell said that when Frye was asked to check on an abandoned vehicle complaint, he would tell authorities the vehicle wasn't there and would call a friend and have the vehicle towed to Two Little Bees Auto Parts, at 505 South Tibbs Ave.

Police said the plot unraveled when Penny Archie contacted the city on Nov. 11 about having her daughter's vehicle towed from the driveway of her west side home.

"They came out and towed it away," Archie said. "We just found out today that the guy that towed it, scrapped it. He stole the motor out of it, and police don't know where the rest of the car is."

The auto parts business stripped car and had them crushed, police said, before they went on to Omnisource to be shredded.

The city's exclusive abandoned vehicle contractor, Last Chance Wrecker, said they had never towed the vehicle.

Frye was arrested after police set up a sting and watched a vehicle being towed to Two Little Bees and followed it to Omnisource.

Police said they recovered two more vehicles that were involved in the same alleged scheme.

Investigators said Frye was cooperating in their investigation and told them that he got $20 to $50 per vehicle.

Duhamell said the investigation is ongoing and that other arrests could be made.

In the meantime, Archie wants the city to compensate her daughter for the cost of her replacement vehicle.

"I think that's pretty dirty when they was supposed to take it to a storage lot where my daughter could have picked up the car there," she said. "They weren't supposed to tear the car up."