LODI (CBS13) — The owner of Approved Auto Center in Lodi, Brandon Gonsalves, isn’t feeling too great right now.
That’s because a woman purchased a Lexus from his car dealership with someone else’s personal information.
“The documentation she provided was above and beyond the average fraud stuff that we deal with on a regular basis,” Gonsalves said.
Lodi Police said that the woman used a woman in Oregon’s social security number as well as several forged documents to buy the car. But she may have chosen the wrong identity to steal.
“Luckily, in this case, the victim was already monitoring her credit. Therefore, she was able to catch it,” Sgt. Ricardo Garcia said.
Gonsalves told CBS13 that three days after the sale, the woman in Oregon called the dealership saying she received an alert that her social security number had been used to buy the car.
“Whereas normally it takes about a month for those things to catch up with somebody, we were on it within 72 hours,” Gonsalves said.
Gonsalves said that his dealership is able to catch fraudulent documents just like franchise car dealers can.
“We have the same systems, the same computer systems, the same databases; everything that the big franchise stores have,” Gonsalves said. “In fact, I’ve got more banks than a lot of dealerships around here have.”
CBS13 also found out what happens to cars and their VIN numbers if they are involved in crimes like this. The number will receive a mark on its record of “theft recovered vehicle,” if its found and returned to the owner.
But Gonsalves said that they wouldn’t put that car back on the market again.
“We will not be carrying vehicle back here. That’ll go straight back to the auction and end up somewhere else,” Gonsalves said. “But it definitely will affect the value of the vehicle.”
Lodi Police are still searching for the suspect.