News release - 4/29/2013

Published 4/29/2013 (all press releases for this day)


Jeri Williams
Chief of Police
Oxnard Police Department

R. Jason Benites
Assistant Chief

Scott Whitney
Assistant Chief

OXNARD POLICE DEPARTMENT

NEWS RELEASE

INCIDENT:  Illegal Vehicle Sales Operation, Arrest
DATE/TIME:  4/24/13, 1400 hours
LOCATION:  Downtown Oxnard
??SUSPECT(S): Joaquin Samano age 41, Port Hueneme Resident
Ernesto Macias age 42, Ventura Resident
??PREPARED BY:  Senior Officer Jeff McGreevy
 Senior Officer David Walker
CONTACT PERSON &
CONTACT INFO:
Senior Officer Jeff McGreevy (805) 385-8214
JeffreyMcgreevy@Oxnardpd.org

 

DETAILS:
      The Oxnard Police Department conducted a joint operation with the State of California, Department of Motor Vehicles regarding illegal vehicle sales. This operation resulted in the arrest of two men who were selling vehicles that were not registered to them and unlawful dealer activity.
 
Over the last 2 months The Oxnard Police Department received several complaints from downtown business owners and residents regarding suspected unlawful vehicle sales. In one area there were so many cars parked for sale, no parking was available for customers of the retail spaces. Area merchants noticed the same people moving cars around that were for sale and suspected they were unlawful vehicle dealers. The Oxnard Police Department compiled data over a 6 week period and identified several suspected vehicle dealers unlawfully engaged in vehicle sales on city streets. Several locations were identified due to an unusually high number of cars parked for sale on a daily basis. This activity was an indication that a vehicle dealer may be posing as a private party to sell vehicles to avoid registration fees and taxes. The OPD and DMV used undercover personnel to negotiate vehicle sales with two different men who had multiple cars parked for sale in Oxnard.
 
 Both men had numerous vehicles for sale and admitted that they were selling multiple vehicles. Joaquin Samano had three cars for sale at various street corners. Ernesto Macias had four to six cars parked for sale in downtown. Further investigation revealed Macias was in possession of 10 other vehicle titles and 10 different sets of vehicle keys.  Both suspects were arrested and we are continuing to investigate additional leads regarding unlawful vehicle sales in the Oxnard area.
 
The Oxnard Police Department would like to educate the public and remind you that private parties are allowed to sell their own vehicles but they may not engage in the vehicle sales business without being properly licensed and bonded. If a person buys cars for the purpose of resale they must obtain a vehicle dealer license from the State of California and follow the strict guidelines for licensing and resale. Vehicle sales are tightly regulated by the State of California and it is unlawful for someone to sell a vehicle that is not registered to them without written authority such as a legal power of attorney. The suspects in this case appear to have been “flipping” cars by purchasing a car for one price then reselling or “flipping” it for a profit without being properly licensed.
 
TERMS, FACTS and TIPS:

 

  • Curbstoning is the repeated, unlicensed "flipping" of used cars for profit.
  • Curbstoners are people who actively and regularly buy and sell vehicles without a license, proper permits or a legally established place of business and who, many times, represent themselves as private sellers in order to attract buyers.

Nuisance: Curbstoners often turn high traffic areas into instant parking lots, lining up cars at gas stations, supermarkets, convenience stores, on private property or even the side of the road. They deprive shoppers of places to park and the inconvenience and unsightliness drives away business.
Fraud: Consumers can easily become victims of fraud involving issues like Odometer Tampering, Undisclosed Frame Damage or Salvage Rebuilt Vehicles, Faulty Safety Devices, Mechanics or Promissory Liens and other problems that may not be truthfully disclosed at the time of sale. A consumer has no recourse!

Criminal: The most common crime committed by Curbstoners is Tax Fraud. When an unsuspecting customer buys a car, the curbstoner will leave the title blank or "open." Without the curb stoner's name on the document, they are able to pocket the money (usually cash) and avoid paying State Sales Tax, Federal Income Tax and any other declarations that are legally required.

PROTECT YOUSELF!

 

  • Be suspicious of cars and vehicles suddenly parked in undesignated areas.
  • Monitor free advertising sites, like Craigslist, for cases in which the same contact phone number appears on various private-party listings.
  • Compare contact information on 'For Sale' signs to see if it is the same.
  • Verify the name on the Certificate of Ownership (title) matches the seller's name.
  • Steer away from sellers who accept only cash and refuse checks or money orders.
  • A curbstoner will not let you have the vehicle independently inspected or provide maintenance records that match the car.
  • A curbstoner will not allow you to conduct a CarFax report because it will detail if the vehicle was sold at auction.

 
 
Citizens are reminded that anyone with information about this activity is encouraged to call the Oxnard Police Department (805) 385-7600. If you wish to remain anonymous you may call Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. You can also view www.venturacountycrimestoppers.orgto submit a tip via text or email.
 
 
 
Oxnard Police report numbers 13-08239 and 13-08240.
 
Update:
 
There was a media request for photos of the suspects and they are shown below.
 
 
                                                      
 
Joaquin Samano, Age 41                                  Ernesto Mauricio Macias, Age 42



 

 



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