Police urge car yards to vet potential buyers
Waikato Police urge car yards to vet potential buyers before handing over keys for test drives
Waikato Police who recovered two cars with a combined value of over $100,000 say the theft of the vehicles should serve as a timely reminder to car sales businesses to use more discretion when handing keys over to clients for a test drive.
Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Shelley Begbie of the Waikato Tactical Crime Unit said a 2008 Porsche Cayman was recovered from a storage unit in Hamilton on Friday while a 2014 Toyota Rav 4 was located in a storage yard in Whangamata on the same day.
"Late last month a 21-year-old man walked into a car yard on Hamilton's Te Rapa Rd and presented a fraudulent cheque for $75,000 in turn, a salesman handed him the keys of the shiny late model Porsche.
"A few days later he presented another fraudulent cheque, this time to a sales yard in Tauranga and drove off with a 2014 Toyota Rav 4 valued at over $46,000."
Mrs Begbie said resulting Police enquiries located the offender at a Thames address but the missing cars weren't there.
"He appeared in Court last Friday on two charges of obtaining by deception and our team located the vehicles the same day.
"The man is due to reappear in the Hamilton District Court on 6 May and will face 18 other similar charges in the Waitakere District Court later that month."
Mrs Begbie said the car yards Police had spoken to had initiated more robust identity checks to prevent falling victim from other fraudsters in the future.
"And we would like these incidents to serve as a warning to other businesses not to take people at face value but to check before granting access to attractive or expensive stock or products."