HOUSTON -- Everyday dozens of vehicles are brought to scrap metal yards to be crushed; and, depending on the weight, the old vehicle can bring the owner anywhere from $250 - $500 cash. But there s a problem, the Houston Police Department has learned that many people bringing in the cars can't prove that they own them.

We're getting a awful lot of reports that a lot of people are getting there 10, 12, or 13-year-old cars stolen and they re not being recovered, said Officer Jim Woods with the HPD auto theft division. -

They vehicles are often shredded to tiny bits, so the evidence is gone.

Houston police, along with DPS, Missouri City police and an auto task force set up shop at six different scrap yards before noon on Tuesday.

Fifteen people -- who couldn't prove the vehicles were theirs -- were arrested.

It's been a crime that's been just too easy to commit -- until now.

You know, we're going to make it a little bit more difficult, said Officer Woods.

The same goes for the scrap yards that often purchase cars and bring them to places like this without the proper paperwork.

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