Car thieves purchase wrecked vehicles and transfer the VIN plates to stolen ones in order to escape detection.




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Episode cast overview:
Byron Keith ...
Officer Ellsworth
William Hunt ...
Leroy Edwards (as Bill Hunt)
Guy Rennie ...
Charley Giddings
Alan Aric ...
Jimmy Higgins
Glenn Dixon ...
Virgil Ferrest (as Granville Dixon)
Narrator (voice)


Leroy Edwards pays $800 for a late-model wrecked vehicle from Charley Giddings' salvage yard, but only takes the VIN plate so that it can be transferred to a stolen vehicle of the same make. Giddings is part of the scheme, but his assistant Jimmy Higgins innocently calls the Highway Patrol after the car is not claimed for several days, leading to Edwards' arrest. Out on bail, Edwards offers to leave the country after killing Jimmy if Virgil (the theft ring's leader) will pay him $30,000. Virgil agrees, but sabotages the vehicle in which Edwards and Jimmy are riding. Edwards is killed in the ensuing accident, but Jimmy manages to provide Dan Mathews and Officer Ellsworth with information that eventually leads them to Charley Giddings and Virgil. Written by Sam Spear

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Drama




Release Date:

20 February 1956 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


$30,000 in 1956 had the same purchasing power as $237,000 in 2009. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: The United States has more automobiles per capita than any other nation in the world. It also has more automobile thefts. To combat this situation, our law enforcement agencies are ever busy, applying new and improved methods of crime detection. But the criminal, too, has also applied himself to devising new and improved methods. On the surface, there was nothing suspicious in the visit of Le Roy Edwards to a wrecking yard, nor in the fact that he wished to purchase a car.
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User Reviews

When an honest man has a dishonest boss...
6 August 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Yet once again, Chief Mathews goes out on a routine investigation - this time it's car theft. It's amazing and quite wonderful how little paperwork Mathews has and what a hands-on Chief he is. Of course he has to be in on every crime no matter how mundane because Crawford is, after all, the star. But after seeing several episodes in a row, it does get kind of funny. In this episode, a car junk yard owner is in cahoots with car thieves. The thieves buy new cars totaled in wrecks to get their registration numbers and then steal the same make and model car. The junk car owner gets greedy and asks one of the thieves for way too much money for the junker - and gets it, much to the surprise of the owner's employee. The cops are checking all the area junk yards and the employee mentions this odd transaction. This eventually leads to the capture of the chief bad guy, but not before murder is done.

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