NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk police are investigating a car fixing scam where a man offers to do cheap repairs and then takes off with the cash. The con, which has been pulled at least twice in the past few weeks, has prompted the department to issue a warning to motorists.
According to Officer Stephen Jaeger, in one case, a 27-year-old Norwalk woman is out $280 from a New Haven man's scam to repair her car.
The incident occurred on March 11 when the woman was flagged down on Connecticut Avenue by the man who said he could repair some front damage on her car. The woman had received an estimate from a repair shop of $1,200, so when the man said he could do it for $300 she agreed, police said.
She parked in the Best Buy parking lot and the man began to work on the car. After removing one of the headlights, the man said he would need the money to buy parts so he could continue. The woman took the man’s cell phone number, which she checked by calling it while he was still there, and he left with the $280 and never returned.
The woman tried calling the number several times but he did not respond. She reported it to police and they tried to contact him, but again he did not respond. Police obtained his billing information and learned of his identity, but the department is withholding his name until a warrant is obtained and he is arrested.
The suspect, a 41-year-old New Haven man, was arrested for allegedly pulling a similar scam in 2008, and he currently faces other unrelated charges from other municipalities.
“He is not licensed to fix cars, and he is also operating a vehicle with a suspended license,” said Jaeger. Police believe he may have tried a similar scam on another motorist within the last few days.
The suspect is described as a white male, unshaven with dark hair in a crewcut style. He is also missing several back teeth. He has been seen in the Connecticut Avenue area – possibly driving a brown Chrysler with another unidentified man – so motorists are asked to report to police if they see him.
“We get these types of complaints periodically,” said Jaeger, adding that these types car repair scams are typically pulled in and around large parking lots with quick access to highways. “So we ask that people be on the look out.”
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