A Missoula recycling center says the rising demand for scrap metal is driving up the price of junked cars, and criminals are getting into the junk car business in numbers.
Axmen Recycling General Manager Justin Quist said with current scrap metal prices, an old car can be worth at least $200.
High metal prices, combined with Montana state law, which only requires a signature swearing car ownership, is causing a spike in stolen junk cars, Quist said.
The workers at Axmen do their best to report anything suspicious, and they work with police to help them catch thieves trying to cash in, Quist said.
"It?s very rare that the police are here when it happens,? said Quist. ?Once in a while, they're right here. We've had a couple incidents where the police have shown up and the people have shown up with the product while they were here, and it's pretty exciting sometimes."
Police ask anyone with information about any stolen cars to call Crimestoppers at 721-4444.