MONROE, CT — Two men turned themselves in on warrants charging them in an alleged scheme of purchasing cars at auction, altering the mileage, then reselling the vehicles at inflated prices to unsuspecting victims.
Edgar D. Gonzalez, 25, of Monroe, who turned himself in today (Thursday) was charged with third-degree telephone fraud, second-degree criminal attempt at larceny, second-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, third-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, two counts of first-degree conspiracy to commit forgery, and first-degree conspiracy to commit illegal tampering with an odometer and violation of conditions of release.
Gonzalez was held on a court set $75,000 bond and transported to Bridgeport Superior Court for his arraignment Thursday.
Elmer Pacheco-Diaz, 21, of Stratford, turned himself in on Tuesday and was charged with first-degree forgery, first-degree conspiracy to commit forgery, second-degree larceny, third-degree larceny, second-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, third-degree conspiracy to commit larceny and illegal tampering with an odometer.
Pacheco-Diaz was released after posting his court set bond of $50,000 and is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 3, 2024.
On Oct. 25, 2023, the Monroe Police Department received a complaint of a private motor vehicle sale, in which the seller altered the odometer and title, defrauding the complainant out of thousands of dollars, according to a press release issued by police Thursday.
The buyer bought the car after finding it on Facebook Marketplace. They arranged a meeting in a parking lot in Monroe and the victim paid cash for the car, police said.
The victim was unable to register the vehicle and, after reviewing a Carfax, learned the last reported mileage was 219,000 miles. The odometer on the car and title the victim was issued read 121,000 miles, police said.
Monroe police detectives investigated the case and tracked down the origin of the vehicle in question. It was purchased by a dealership in Massachusetts then resold to an auction house in Connecticut. It was purchased at auction 13 days earlier with 219,000 miles.
Through their investigation, detectives determined who created the Facebook Marketplace page. Many of the pictures taken of vehicles on the page were taken in various areas in Monroe, police said.
Gonzalez and Pacheco-Diaz were developed as suspects and police applied for arrest warrants.
Detectives believe there are other victims who unwittingly purchased a vehicle with an altered odometer from either Pacheco-Diaz or Gonzalez. Anyone who purchased a car from them is encouraged to call the Monroe Police Detective Division at 203-452-2831.
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