Georgia authorities uncover alleged PWC VIN scam

Publish Date: 
Oct 16, 2012

SUGAR HILL, Ga.  – Authorities have arrested a repair shop owner on charges of operating a chop shop that specialized in personal watercraft.

Dane Sweatman, 25, was arrested Oct. 11 and initially charged with operation of a chop shop and four counts of theft by receiving, jail records cited in the Gwinnett Daily Post show. A Gwinnett County police report, though, said there was probable cause for additional charges of altered or removed VIN (11 counts), marijuana possession, steroid possession and two more counts of theft by receiving.

A stolen trailer in a driveway led police to get a search warrant for Sweatman’s home, where they found 11 trailers and watercraft with altered or removed VIN plates and six were stolen.

"During the interview he admitted to knowing the trailers and watercraft were stolen when he purchased them ... He admitted to removing legit VINs from old, junked watercraft and placing the VINs onto stolen watercraft," according to a report. "He then registered them in what looked like a legitimate manner" and sold them.

Posted by Holly Wagner