Fri | Dec 2, 2016

Rented Friday, sold Sunday

Published:Sunday | September 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Senior Superintendent Cornwall 'Bigga' Ford, head of the Flying Squad.-File

Ford warns about car-stealing racket

Sheldon Wiliams, Gleaner Writer

Head of the Flying Squad, Senior Superintendent of Police Cornwall Ford, is warning car-rental businesses and car buyers to be alert, as persons have been renting vehicles from companies and then reselling them.

"What they are really doing is targeting private companies. What they are doing is, let's say between Thursdays and Fridays, they go to these companies and rent the vehicles. From our investigations, as soon as they rent the vehicles they have documentation, the title - the works," he said.

With the fabricated documents prepared, the SSP said the vehicles are then advertised for sale in the print media, alongside legitimately owned vehicles. "They advertise these cars for sale and people respond to the ads," he said.

To stem the scam, SSP Ford recommends that car-rental operators do proper vetting of customers before they finalise rentals. "Ensure that the persons you are renting the car to are bona fide people. Make somebody recommend the people to you, so if something goes wrong you have somebody can rock back on to say 'you recommended them'," he suggested.

Cashless transactions would also deter fraudsters, as there will be a paper trail. "Do business with cheque; carry people go bank. Carry them make people see them and know them. Somebody might see them and say 'but a that man deh sell mi a car last week and is a thiefing car'," Ford said.

He commented that "people just go with their hard-earned cash and get robbed". However, Ford said, "If people start doing business with institutions, it will cut down, because you see it's easy cash. The people who are doing it will put up $100,000 to make $1.2 million or $1.5 million."

Ford demanded rhetorically, "How you must buy a car on Sunday and carry cash? You no make the arrangements then? Because you going to lose your cash and you're going to lose the car, because once the investigation starts we are going to seize the car."

He said no arrests have been made as yet, but investigations are ongoing.