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Terry T
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Steve is (was) a member here.

http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/northberge....xml&coll=3

COPS: TOWING CO. IN CRASH & BURN SCAM

Boss, four drivers arrested; probe 'looking at lots of illegal activity'

Saturday, December 06, 2008

By MICHAELANGELO CONTE

JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

NORTH BERGEN - The owner of a towing service with a township contract and four of his drivers stole trucks and tried to launch them from a cliff in a scheme to get the recovery fees, police said yesterday.

"I don't know how big this will become," said North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, implying at a press conference yesterday that the charges related to HighPoint Towing may be the tip of the iceberg. "All other agencies are now actively working on this."

HighPoint owner Steven Avella, 53, was arrested on charges of arson for hire, conspiracy to commit theft and two counts of insurance fraud, police said. Police said he paid his workers up to $600 to take the two trucks.

Driver Vincent Garrison, 28, of Union City, was charged with arson for hire, theft, conspiracy to commit theft and possession of burglary tools, police said. Driver Brian Sheppard, 29, of Secaucus, was charged with aggravated assault by auto and witness tampering, police said.

Driver Rafael Morales, 40, of Union City, was charged with theft, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to commit theft, police said. Former driver Christopher Baulch, 30, of Lyndhurst, was charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft, police said.

"Without giving away too much about our investigation, there is a lot of illegal activity we are looking at," said Lt. Frank Cannella, adding that there was no evidence the owners of the vehicles had any involvement.

Police say the drivers were paid by Avella, 53, of Union City, to steal two trucks that the drivers then attempted to launch from a cliff behind a Paterson Plank Road car wash, police said. The trucks got caught up on trees at the top of the cliff to Tonnelle Avenue.

A truck carrying a dumpster was stolen, driven off the cliff and salvaged by HighPoint on Oct. 5, police said.

On Oct. 17, they did the same thing with the cab of a tractor trailer, but the township uses two towing services and HighPoint's shift was almost over.

Cannella said the drivers feared the other company would get the $18,000 towing fee, so they lit the truck on fire to get immediate action. That incident also triggered the investigation, Cannella said, adding that the truck was totaled and the insurance company paid the owner $118,000, police said.

The towing company has locations on Tonnelle Avenue and 54th Street in North Bergen and 22nd Street off Bergenline Avenue in Union City, police said. HighPoint has towing contracts at the state and federal levels as well. Workers at the North Bergen garage chose not to comment on the arrests yesterday afternoon.

Avella is being held at Hudson County jail in Kearny on a bail of $75,000 cash only. The four drivers posted bail.

Additional local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies were involved in the probe.

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**Post Deleted**

Wow I should have thought that one out. Sorry for the disparaging remarks. That day was a bad one. Fighting with tenants who don't want to pay rent, and one of our vans was badly vandalized by my house. Then I hear this and it just set me off. Again I apologize for the off color remarks.

-Thad

What America needs is less bull and more Bulldog!

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That was happening here a few years ago and may still be going on. On companty here would still a truck and salavage it over night and set the laft overs on the side of the road and then would get the job to pick up and hold for ransom the next day. He almost got caught one night so they started cuting ever thing and hauling to junk yard. I am talking about class 8 trucks. Some one at the junk yard saw what was going on and called in the cops. I was in their back yard one day and saw a lot of good fresh engines and trans sittin coverd up with a tarp and i looked at one and all of the tags wa taken off of every thing on all engines. That told me what was going on and not long after that they got busted. Easy money will lure some one ever time no matter how dangerous it is. They would hold those stolen trucks till insurance paid and that was then 55.00 a day plus recovery fees and it was big money for the tow com.He and the Hazmat clean up team was in to a deal together also. If he picked up a wreck truck he made sure the fuel tank was tore open and that way the hazmat team came out and the clean up on one fuel tank of this over turn truck was 55000 dollars. The owner lost ever thing he had when it was over. truck house and will work rest of his life trying to recover what he lost to the fat cats at hazmat and the state has to know what is gtoing on. gtlenn

glenn akers

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It always amazes me how low people will go, they need to lock them up and throw away the key, we all know guys in the trucking, constuction busness who has all the toys who are nothing but crooks or drug dealers, i think its called GREED
Greed is for real I know around here any time a drug ring of any size is busted in most cases they have a lot of guns and hi dollar toys and cars and trucks. Just like most people would like to have but know they have to work for them. I have all i need and more than i deserve and that ant much but i dont have to worry about you guys reading about me unless i die. glenn

glenn akers

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Greed is for real I know around here any time a drug ring of any size is busted in most cases they have a lot of guns and hi dollar toys and cars and trucks. Just like most people would like to have but know they have to work for them. I have all i need and more than i deserve and that ant much but i dont have to worry about you guys reading about me unless i die. glenn

Same here, thats a good saying

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I'd like to say that you have only read a one sided media barrage. There are 2 sides to every story. These charges are based on the coments of 2 individuals who were caught in the act of possesion of stolen property and arson. These two individuals are involved in allot more than the media says at this time. I can not comment on much more because of current investigations that are underway. We feel confident the truth will be exposed in the end. I can only ask you all keep an open mind to the conclusion of this case. I can only hope the media would report our innocense as well as they did these allegations? But I'm sure that's asking for to much. Thanks for listening.. Be safe

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I'd like to say that you have only read a one sided media barrage. There are 2 sides to every story. These charges are based on the coments of 2 individuals who were caught in the act of possesion of stolen property and arson. These two individuals are involved in allot more than the media says at this time. I can not comment on much more because of current investigations that are underway. We feel confident the truth will be exposed in the end. I can only ask you all keep an open mind to the conclusion of this case. I can only hope the media would report our innocense as well as they did these allegations? But I'm sure that's asking for to much. Thanks for listening.. Be safe

Good luck, Steve. People forget nowadays innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, as you say, many are crucified by the media before the truth is known. You have built a respectable business and I hope you can emerge from this with your reputation intact. Keep us all posted.

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Thanks... I'm sure the truth will be told in the end? But like you said? The media is the judge and exicutioner. Our business has suffered tremendously. And unfortunately? We never get the media coverage saying your innocent that you get when your accussed? We don't know what were going to do business wise yet? But it's safe to say? It won't ever be the same again. It's amazing how a nobody can ruin a lifetime of hard work of someone else? Thank you all for your thoughts.. Be safe and stay well all... Steve

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  • 10 years later...
On 12/7/2008 at 2:13 PM, Terry T said:

Steve is (was) a member here.

http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/northberge....xml&coll=3

COPS: TOWING CO. IN CRASH & BURN SCAM

Boss, four drivers arrested; probe 'looking at lots of illegal activity'

Saturday, December 06, 2008

By MICHAELANGELO CONTE

JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

NORTH BERGEN - The owner of a towing service with a township contract and four of his drivers stole trucks and tried to launch them from a cliff in a scheme to get the recovery fees, police said yesterday.

"I don't know how big this will become," said North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, implying at a press conference yesterday that the charges related to HighPoint Towing may be the tip of the iceberg. "All other agencies are now actively working on this."

HighPoint owner Steven Avella, 53, was arrested on charges of arson for hire, conspiracy to commit theft and two counts of insurance fraud, police said. Police said he paid his workers up to $600 to take the two trucks.

Driver Vincent Garrison, 28, of Union City, was charged with arson for hire, theft, conspiracy to commit theft and possession of burglary tools, police said. Driver Brian Sheppard, 29, of Secaucus, was charged with aggravated assault by auto and witness tampering, police said.

Driver Rafael Morales, 40, of Union City, was charged with theft, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to commit theft, police said. Former driver Christopher Baulch, 30, of Lyndhurst, was charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft, police said.

"Without giving away too much about our investigation, there is a lot of illegal activity we are looking at," said Lt. Frank Cannella, adding that there was no evidence the owners of the vehicles had any involvement.

Police say the drivers were paid by Avella, 53, of Union City, to steal two trucks that the drivers then attempted to launch from a cliff behind a Paterson Plank Road car wash, police said. The trucks got caught up on trees at the top of the cliff to Tonnelle Avenue.

A truck carrying a dumpster was stolen, driven off the cliff and salvaged by HighPoint on Oct. 5, police said.

On Oct. 17, they did the same thing with the cab of a tractor trailer, but the township uses two towing services and HighPoint's shift was almost over.

Cannella said the drivers feared the other company would get the $18,000 towing fee, so they lit the truck on fire to get immediate action. That incident also triggered the investigation, Cannella said, adding that the truck was totaled and the insurance company paid the owner $118,000, police said.

The towing company has locations on Tonnelle Avenue and 54th Street in North Bergen and 22nd Street off Bergenline Avenue in Union City, police said. HighPoint has towing contracts at the state and federal levels as well. Workers at the North Bergen garage chose not to comment on the arrests yesterday afternoon.

Avella is being held at Hudson County jail in Kearny on a bail of $75,000 cash only. The four drivers posted bail.

Additional local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies were involved in the probe.

Hi my name is Christopher Baulch I was brought in for questioning on the matter and was never charged so I don’t know were you got your info from but I would like my name removed or I will sue you for deformation of character  and I know Brian was never charged either 

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On 12/7/2008 at 2:13 PM, Terry T said:

Steve is (was) a member here.

http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/northberge....xml&coll=3

COPS: TOWING CO. IN CRASH & BURN SCAM

Boss, four drivers arrested; probe 'looking at lots of illegal activity'

Saturday, December 06, 2008

By MICHAELANGELO CONTE

JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

NORTH BERGEN - The owner of a towing service with a township contract and four of his drivers stole trucks and tried to launch them from a cliff in a scheme to get the recovery fees, police said yesterday.

"I don't know how big this will become," said North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, implying at a press conference yesterday that the charges related to HighPoint Towing may be the tip of the iceberg. "All other agencies are now actively working on this."

HighPoint owner Steven Avella, 53, was arrested on charges of arson for hire, conspiracy to commit theft and two counts of insurance fraud, police said. Police said he paid his workers up to $600 to take the two trucks.

Driver Vincent Garrison, 28, of Union City, was charged with arson for hire, theft, conspiracy to commit theft and possession of burglary tools, police said. Driver Brian Sheppard, 29, of Secaucus, was charged with aggravated assault by auto and witness tampering, police said.

Driver Rafael Morales, 40, of Union City, was charged with theft, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to commit theft, police said. Former driver Christopher Baulch, 30, of Lyndhurst, was charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft, police said.

"Without giving away too much about our investigation, there is a lot of illegal activity we are looking at," said Lt. Frank Cannella, adding that there was no evidence the owners of the vehicles had any involvement.

Police say the drivers were paid by Avella, 53, of Union City, to steal two trucks that the drivers then attempted to launch from a cliff behind a Paterson Plank Road car wash, police said. The trucks got caught up on trees at the top of the cliff to Tonnelle Avenue.

A truck carrying a dumpster was stolen, driven off the cliff and salvaged by HighPoint on Oct. 5, police said.

On Oct. 17, they did the same thing with the cab of a tractor trailer, but the township uses two towing services and HighPoint's shift was almost over.

Cannella said the drivers feared the other company would get the $18,000 towing fee, so they lit the truck on fire to get immediate action. That incident also triggered the investigation, Cannella said, adding that the truck was totaled and the insurance company paid the owner $118,000, police said.

The towing company has locations on Tonnelle Avenue and 54th Street in North Bergen and 22nd Street off Bergenline Avenue in Union City, police said. HighPoint has towing contracts at the state and federal levels as well. Workers at the North Bergen garage chose not to comment on the arrests yesterday afternoon.

Avella is being held at Hudson County jail in Kearny on a bail of $75,000 cash only. The four drivers posted bail.

Additional local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies were involved in the probe.

Hi my name is Christopher Baulch I was brought in for questioning on the matter and was never charged so I don’t know were you got your info from but I would like my name removed or I will sue you for deformation of character  and I know Brian was never charged either 

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On 12/7/2008 at 6:25 PM, theakerstwo said:
de37champ said:
It always amazes me how low people will go, they need to lock them up and throw away the key, we all know guys in the trucking, constuction busness who has all the toys who are nothing but crooks or drug dealers, i think its called GREED

Greed is for real I know around here any time a drug ring of any size is busted in most cases they have a lot of guns and hi dollar toys and cars and trucks. Just like most people would like to have but know they have to work for them. I have all i need and more than i deserve and that ant much but i dont have to worry about you guys reading about me unless i die. glenn

You should really watch what you say because I know for a fact that me and Brian were never charged with anything 

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34 minutes ago, Christopher baulch said:

You should really watch what you say because I know for a fact that me and Brian were never charged with anything 

You apparently didn't get your 15 minutes of fame when the subject was new so trying to make up for it? Maybe my negative numbers intelligence level preclude me understanding just what you are attempting to prove other than making yourself look like a fool? Sounds like you were either lucky as not part of the larger prize, or were not involved. Either way, count your blessings.

Best talk to an attorney before you start referencing suing anyone for something several years aged. Statute of limitations applies and IF, (big IF) you get something filed, I'm sure countersuits will follow shortly after your frivolous claims are tossed. It is the way the judicial system works.

Think with your brains, not your attitude.

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Dog.jpg.487f03da076af0150d2376dbd16843ed.jpgPlodding along with no job nor practical application for my existence, but still trying to fix what's broke.

 

 

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I had actually wondered if he survived that ordeal. I'm not going to pass guilt or innocence in the matter as I have no facts pertaining but Steve was a good participant in the early days here.

Dog.jpg.487f03da076af0150d2376dbd16843ed.jpgPlodding along with no job nor practical application for my existence, but still trying to fix what's broke.

 

 

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it has been a while for sure. but if i remember correctly the publicity pretty much ruined his business name and he retired to a new place up in sussex county far away from the rat race of the nu yawk area.

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when you are up to your armpits in alligators,

it is hard to remember you only came in to drain the swamp..

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