Police: Ga. Man Used Craigslist to Sell Cars He Didn’t Own
He convinced victims to pay a deposit, then made off with the money.
Police are looking for a man who posed as a sales rep for a Georgia auto dealership and scammed thousands from people who answered a Cragslist ad.
Gwinnett Police said a man identified as Jeff Manders went to Honda Mall of Georgia near Buford, Ga., obtained the vehicle identification number and description of cars, then posted the cars for sale on Craigslist with a price lower than the dealership’s.
He allegedly convinced victims to pay a deposit and then meet him later to complete the sale. He made off with the money.
Manders lives in Barrow County, police said.
Police said a representative from the Honda dealership reported the possible Craigslist scam on Aug. 3. Several customers had come to the business, asking about two specific cars on its used car lot — a 2002 Honda Accord and 2002 Ford Ranger. The customers said they saw the cars on Craigslist.
“The dealership’s representative stated at first it wasn’t a big deal, but then they learned that some of the customers were actually being asked to place deposits on the vehicles belonging to the dealership,” police spokesman Cpl. Ed Ritter said via email. “When the listed telephone number is called, a male by the name of Jeff answers the telephone and attempts to sell the cars and obtain deposit money from the interested buyers.”
On Aug. 4 and 5, police were contacted by three victims who said they all met Manders at the Honda dealership on Aug. 2 and gave him a total of $3,600 in deposits.
Each met with the man, gave him a deposit on the car and completed a phony bill of sale, on which the name of the dealership’s sales manager was forged.
“Each of the victims was supposed to meet Jeff back at a later time to pay the rest of the money and take possession of the car; Jeff obviously never returned,” Ritter said.
Police have obtained warrants for Jeff Manders for three counts each of theft by deception and forgery. He also is wanted in DeKalb County on a U.S. Marshall’s Service warrant for probation violations.
“Attempts have been made to locate Mr. Manders at his Barrow County home, but attempts have been unsuccessful,” Ritter said.
Manders drives a dark-gray 2006 Mazda Tribute with deer antlers across the back windshield and the initials KMA in the middle. Police say he has a girlfriend in Rome, and may travel back and forth between Barrow and Floyd counties.
If you have any information on this case, contact Sgt. Conlon with the GCPD Motor Vehicle Theft Unit at 770-513-5354.
Photo: Police are looking for Jeff Manders, suspected in Craigslist scam in Gwinnett County, Ga. Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department.