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Racer's relatives face theft charges

Posted: Friday May 03, 2002 8:23 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The father and brother of NASCAR racer Jimmy Spencer are facing conspiracy charges for what police say was a scheme to steal truck tires for resale at their junkyard.

The Luzerne County district attorney's office approved conspiracy charges Thursday against Edgar Spencer and Edgar Spencer Jr., who own and run Ed Spencer Auto Parts in Berwick.

Facing the same charges are the racer's uncle and cousin, Edgar W. Spencer and Edgar W. Spencer Jr. of Spencer's Auto Parts in Hunlock Creek.

Authorities said they received a complaint from officials at a Wilkes-Barre business alleging that truck tires from their plant were being sold at the Spencers' businesses. McCarthy Tire identified its tires through a code at the plant, a police report says.

During an internal investigation by McCarthy Tire, service technician Raymond Balls admitted being involved in a conspiracy to steal tires and deliver them to the Spencers, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

McCarthy Tire told the DA's office about its investigation, and police interviewed Balls. He told them Jimmy Spencer's brother approached him and suggested the scheme, police said.

Balls was also named in the police criminal complaint and faces charges of conspiracy to commit theft.

He told police that he has sold the Spencers more than 940 recapped tires and 40 new tires. Balls said he had purchased four vehicles from the Spencers and that they would at times exchange payment on the vehicles for tires.

A call to a telephone listing for Edgar W. Spencer in Hunlock Creek went unanswered.

A woman who answered the phone at a business listing for Ed Spencer Auto Parts and identified herself as the elder Spencer's wife, said her husband and son Edgar Jr. went Richmond, Va., to watch Jimmy race this weekend and could not be reached there. She had no comment about the allegations.


 
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