Elk County man charged for allegedly running chop-shop, selling stolen trucks

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ELK COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — An Elk County man is facing charges after police were called to investigate a truck with a missing vehicle identification number(VIN) that led back to a man who was in prison in 2012.

Benjamin Cummings, 39, faces five felony charges, including conducting a chop shop, after a state police investigation into a pickup truck without a VIN. The white Chevy was found on a property Cummings was selling with the numbers missing from the windshield, leaving police on a goose chase after finding the a VIN in the glove area.

Through the course of the investigation, police found another truck, a grey Chevy, that was given as a gift from the owner’s father a few years prior. The father reportedly told police he bought the truck from Cummings. After allowing police to search the grey truck, police impounded it and found the grey truck had the VIN of the original truck they were investigating.

After finding the original VIN of the grey truck the father bought from Cummings, it led police to a report of that very truck being stolen in 2012. When speaking to the man who reported the theft, they say he was in prison when it happened and he didn’t think the police took his report seriously.

The former inmate then described his stolen grey Chevy to police, including many features that were added to it. Police noted that his full description matched the grey truck that was bought as a gift from Cummings.

Cummings is now facing multiple felony charges including the destruction of a VIN and operating a chop shop. He was released on $25,000 unsecured bail and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 22.

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