Carlos Lopez Torres sentenced to 5 years of formal probation, ordered to re-pay victims for stealing cars & illegally operating as a car business
Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 52-year-old Carlos Lopez Torres received a sentence of five years of formal probation, 200 hours of community service and must pay just over $11,000 in combined restitution and compensatory fines after a judge convicted him of stealing cars, acting as a vehicle dealer without a certificate and other crimes related to him conducting a motor vehicle business without a certificate.
“No component of Mr. Lopez Torres’ business was legitimate but his crimes paid extremely well,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Demer, who prosecuted this case.
Although placed on probation today and ordered to begin community service and making payments to the victims, the court scheduled a second hearing in a year to address additional sentencing matters.
If Lopez Torres is not in compliance with the terms of his probation, the court could impose additional sanctions, to include prison time.
During a two-day trial held in February, the state presented evidence to show that Lopez Torres used a homemade tow truck to steal vehicles throughout the metro area. He then falsely completed DMV provided lien paperwork so that he could sell these vehicles to a scrap metal dealer in Portland without providing the normal ownership documents, such as a title.
Additional trial evidence showed that Lopez Torres paid a finder’s fee to others for locating vehicles for him that were easy targets to be towed. As a result of his illegal conduct, Lopez Torres made more than $100,000.
The victims who lost their vehicles were often people who could least afford to lose their vehicle.
The court found Lopez Torres guilty of two counts of trafficking in stolen vehicles, one count of acting as a vehicle dealer without a certificate, one count of conducting a motor vehicle dismantling business without a certificate, one count of false swearing related to a vehicle registration, and 96 counts of making a false statement on a title or transfer of vehicle document.
This case was prosecuted by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Demer and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Strategic Prosecution and Services Unit, which reviews cases that stem from neighborhood-specific concerns. The unit is primarily responsible for interfacing with the community over specific issues, and handles all types of cases across the criminal justice spectrum to include misdemeanors and homicides.