|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||January 10, 2011|
|NEWS FROM: Compliance Enforcement Division||11-001|
The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles is warning the public to be wary of unlicensed vehicle brokers after two suspects used false DMV employee identification badges to try to reassure their victims.
In early December, two men contracted with a Las Vegas man to sell his truck. They took possession of the vehicle and listed it for sale on Craigslist. They left the false DMV badges hanging on the mirror as a potential buyer took the vehicle on a test drive.
The buyer had met the suspects in a supermarket parking lot near the West Flamingo DMV office in Las Vegas. Driving past the DMV, the buyer decided to take the badges inside the office to verify whether the two were actually employees. DMV Compliance Enforcement officers questioned the buyer and followed him back to the store. The suspects fled as the investigators arrived.
“DMV employees do not offer to help with vehicle sales in any official capacity,” said DMV Compliance Enforcement Administrator Burel Schulz. “You should view anyone presenting themselves as an employee suspiciously.”
The department also cautions motorists to be careful when buying a car from a private party. The seller must furnish a properly signed-off vehicle title to the buyer. The buyer and seller should complete, and keep copies of, a Bill of Sale and it is a good idea to check the seller’s ID. Private party sales should be completed at a residence and not in a public parking lot or empty lot. Complete requirements for vehicle sales can be found on the department’s website at www.dmvnv.com.
The DMV is pursuing an arrest warrant against 38-year-old Steven Marks, who has criminal records in Arizona and Utah and allegedly has used at least four false names. The other suspect has yet to be positively identified. Anyone with information on the case should call the DMV Compliance Enforcement Division at (702) 486-8626.
A legitimate automotive broker must have a fixed place of business and a DMV business license. The public can check whether an automotive business is licensed with the DMV on the department’s website.
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