This vehicle owner had listed a 2009 Mercedes C63 AMG on a web site in an attempt to make a private sale. A prospective buyer made contact, the vehicle was viewed, and what was an agreeable purchase price ($47,000) was negotiated. Promises were made by both seller and buyer to allow a transfer of bank funds into the seller’s bank account.
Ultimately, the seller provided the buyer with a check from a “closed account” and the seller was unable to contact the buyer as he had been able to before the delivery of the Mercedes. The alleged crime was quickly reported to the Financial Crimes Unit of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. An investigation over the next five days showed a theft by fraud had taken place and the vehicle was entered as stolen.
Having reported the vehicle stolen to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, the vehicle information was entered into the National Crime Information Center computer. This routine police action automatically activated the LoJack transponder concealed in the Mercedes.
Within 30 minutes of the LoJack’s activation, a CMPD officer on routine patrol duty received the Mercedes’ LoJack homing signal with the LoJack Police Tracking Computer installed in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD patrol and aviation units. Following the directional and audible signal of the Police Tracking Computer, officers were taken to a motel parking lot off W. T. Harris Blvd. and Harris Corners Parkway. The vehicle was first placed under surveillance; however, no one returned to the vehicle. Officers contacted the motel desk clerk to determine which motel guest — if any — was registered to the Mercedes, which was now displaying a different license plate. The person registered was the same person as the suspect in the theft. The suspect came into the motel lobby and Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD arrested the suspect without incident. This same suspect was found to have five outstanding warrants for an arrest from Durham, NC. The vehicle was towed and stored until the titled owner could be contacted to take possession.
As a direct result of this LoJack recovery, Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD officers recovered a second vehicle, a 2008 Mercedes-Benz ML350 ($30,000 value) reported stolen from Archdale, NC and parked next to the recovered 2009 Mercedes C63 AMG.
Note: Portions of this story were obtained from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.