Violence between repo men, car owners on the rise

By: HALSELL, Ala. (AP)
By: HALSELL, Ala. (AP)

With the economy in shambles, auto reposessions are expected to rise, and violence along with them.

The shooting death of Halsell, Ala., resident Jimmy Tanks by a repo man in the wee hours of June 26 points to part of the problem. The local sheriff says Tanks did what anyone would have done at 2:30 a.m. -- he went outside, armed, to check on the noise.

The repo man, Kenneth Alvin Smith, who faces murder charges, says Tanks fired first.

Part of the problem is a largely unregulated industry nationally.

Since Tanks' death, two other repo men from the same company Smith worked for were shot in Birmingham, one fatally.

Joe Taylor, whose Florida-based company insures repossession companies, said licensing and training is the answer.

All three Alabama shootings were in the middle of the night. An industry leader says that's a problem, and that smart operators don't work those hours.

Halsell is located in Choctaw County.

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