Crime - Sacto 911

Roseville police warn of auto repair scam

Roseville police say auto repair scam artists were driving a white Kia Soul four-door sedan, similar to the one shown in this stock photo.
Roseville police say auto repair scam artists were driving a white Kia Soul four-door sedan, similar to the one shown in this stock photo. Photo provided by Roseville Police Department

Roseville police are warning people to beware of scam artists after a woman in her 80s was sold unneeded and poor-quality auto repairs.

On May 24, the victim, a Roseville resident, was loading groceries into her car in the Safeway parking lot at Woodcreek Oaks and Blue Oaks boulevards, when a man approached her and offered to paint over some damaged areas on her vehicle for $300. Although her car was in good condition and didn’t need repair work, the man talked her into it. He and his family then followed the woman to her home, according to a Police Department news release.

The family helped the woman put away her groceries, then helped themselves to her food. The mother and son remained in the house with the victim while the man painted the bumpers of her car in her driveway. The female tried to talk the victim into letting her clean her rugs, but the victim declined, police said.

When the man finished the “repairs” to the car, he told the woman it took more time than he anticipated and the cost would be $740, rather than the original $300 quoted. The woman paid him and the family left.

Later the woman realized she had been scammed and reported the incident to Roseville police. Police provided a photo for the unneeded repairs, which they said consisted of a sloppy paint job with mismatched paint.

The man who performed the work was described as Hispanic-looking, in his 30s, 6 feet tall and weighing about 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

The woman also was described as Hispanic-looking and in her 30s, about 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a sweater over a tank top and a long black skirt.

The couple’s son was described as about 9 years old, wearing a blue plaid shirt and blue pants.

They were driving a white Kia Soul four-door sedan, similar to one shown in a photo released by police.

If identified and found, the couple face charges of burglary, for entering the woman’s home with the intent to commit fraud, as well as financially defrauding an elderly victim and child abuse, for involving their child in the scam, police said.

Police said officers were told at least one other person may have fallen victim to the scam in the Safeway center during the same time period.

Anyone who is a victim of the scam in Roseville is asked to call the Police Department at 916-774-5000, ext. 1, to file a report. Anyone with information regarding the identity of the scam artists is asked to call Detective Marks at 916-746-1071.

Police advise residents not to accept repair offers from people who approach them in a parking lot or at their home. Instead, they recommend calling a reputable local business or service person who has good references and is licensed to provide the service.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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