WKYT - Richmond - Headlines

Serial car thief strikes in Berea

By: Sean Evans Email
By: Sean Evans Email

The owner of Berea Auto Sales had no reason not to believe or trust the man who claimed to be a car dealer from Ohio, especially since he left his own car behind during the test drive as a show of good faith.

"He came earlier in the day, advised he was a traveling car salesman for vehicles to buy for his car lot in Ohio," said Sgt. Rob Ward with Berea Police.

Little did the owner know, he was about to become the latest victim in a series of car thefts.

"It was about an hour and a half before the owner called realizing something was going on," Ward said.

Once called, police didn't have far to go.
But by then the man was long gone, taking the 2009 gray Toyota Corolla with him. The tags on the car read 795-JVR.
When police ran the tags on the car the man left behind, they discovered that car had been stolen as well.

"There's a lot of leg work involved, a lot of phone calls, a lot of officers being on the lookout for these license plates, for these vehicles. It's just unfortunate," added Ward.

Police urge car dealers to use caution and require identification when approached by so-called car dealers.
Berea Auto Sales says they will now make sure someone from the business rides with a potential customer on test drives from now on.

The loss of the car has left the lot owner out round twelve thousand dollars.

One recovered vehicles linked to the suspect has also been reported in a series of gas pump drive-offs in Tennessee, Ohio, and Kentucky.

The suspect is described as a white man, around 5'10" and 170 lbs.


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