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Towing firm duo busted in car-theft complaints

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Police say a car-towing company operating from Campbell Industrial Park might be responsible for at least seven stolen vehicles.

Larry G. Franchey, 40, of Waialua was arrested Wednesday morning at 91-218 Olai St. on suspicion of three counts of second-degree theft. Franchey is the owner of Northside Towing, a company registered with the state in February.

Also arrested on the same three counts was Austin Keala, 44, also of Waialua and believed to be an employee of Northside Towing.

Both men were released pending investigation.

Franchey did not return a message left at his Waialua home yesterday.

Detectives were told three stolen cars would be on the site; they went to the Campbell Industrial Park location and found the three cars and an additional four vehicles they suspect are stolen, a police source said.

The company has a handful of employees, but it is unclear whether other arrests would be made because the investigation is ongoing, the source said.

The source said the business has received numerous unspecified complaints.

A 28-year-old man, a 39-year-old man and a 47-year-old woman were listed as victims.

Police also would not disclose how the alleged auto theft operation worked.

But according to a neighboring business owner, who asked not to be identified, the towing company began operating on the lawn fronting 91-218 Olai St. about six or seven months ago.

Business registration records said Northside Towing was registered on Feb. 11 to Franchey. The state Consumer Resource Center said it had no record of complaints about the company.

Police arrested five people earlier this year in connection with a motorcycle ring that operated in Waipahu.

 

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