a. A person who removes, defaces, alters, changes, destroys, covers or obliterates any trademark, distinguishing or identification number, serial number or mark on or from any motor vehicle for an unlawful purpose, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
b. A person who for an unlawful purpose knowingly possesses any motor vehicle, or any of the parts thereof, from or on which any trademark, distinguishing or identification number, or serial number or mark has been removed, covered, altered, changed, defaced, destroyed or obliterated, is guilty of an offense, unless, within 10 days after the motor vehicle or any part thereof shall have come into his possession, he files with the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Law and Public Safety a verified statement showing: the source of his title, the proper trademark, identification or distinguishing number, or serial number or mark, if known, and if known, the manner of and reason for the mutilation, change, alteration, concealment or defacement, the length of time the motor vehicle or part has been held and the price paid therefor.
If the value of the motor vehicle or parts possessed exceeds $500.00 the offense is a crime of the third degree; if the value is at least $200.00 but does not exceed $500.00 it is a crime of the fourth degree; if the value is less than $200.00 it is a disorderly persons offense.
c. As used in this section, “motor vehicle” includes motor bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles, trucks, tractors or other vehicles designed to be self-propelled by mechanical power, and otherwise than by muscular power, except motor vehicles running upon or guided by rails or tracks.
L.1983, c. 351, s. 1, eff. Sept. 29, 1983.