PORTLAND -- A Portland Bureau of Transportation employee pleaded guilty to official misconduct for taking part in an auto theft scheme, according to an Oregonian report.

Barbara Lorraine Peterson, 53, who worked in the abandoned auto section of PBOT, was accused of tipping off a tow truck driver to reports of abandoned vehicles in the metro area.

The driver would then steal the cars and take them to a car-crushing facility, where they were crushed and sold as scrap metal, said Sgt. Pete Simpson of the Portland Police Bureau.

Background: Portland worker arrested in auto theft scheme

Peterson was jailed on seven counts of official misconduct, four counts of conspiracy to commit unlawful use of a motor vehicle and three counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

She pleaded guilty to official misconduct and unauthorized use of a vehicle Friday afternoon during a plea hearing.

Peterson is scheduled to be sentenced September 18.

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