06/03/2014 03:14 EDT | Updated 08/03/2014 05:59 EDT

Flood-destroyed classic car spotted at auction, charges laid

A Calgary police officer with an interest in collector cars is being credited for spotting a flood-damaged Chevrolet at an auction.

The officer was off-duty at a vehicle auction in May when he recognized the 1962 Chevrolet Impala.

It looked like the same car that was damaged during flooding a year ago in High River. That vehicle written off as non-repairable by its owner, which meant it could not legally be repaired or registered.

A 63-year-old Calgary man has been charged with one count each of uttering a forged document, tampering with a vehicle identification number and fraudulent concealment.

“Flood damaged vehicles are extremely unsafe and cannot be repaired,” police said in a statement. “Water damages a vehicle’s electrical components including its airbags, antilock brake system, stability control, heating and cooling systems and even its braking, acceleration and steering.”

Police alleged the man purchased the car from a salvage company and "cloned" it by changing the VIN number, and created a false bill of sale and out-of-province inspection certificate to register the car in Alberta.