Albany used car dealer charged with theft - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany used car dealer charged with theft

Source Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Source Dougherty County Sheriff's Office
Source WALB Source WALB
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The car dealer is charged with 11 counts of theft by deception with more charges likely.
Investigators say victims are coming to them daily, and they want to know if there are others.

Investigators say Jesus Arango was overcharging customers, stealing their ad valorem tax money.

A & J Auto Care and Car Wash in the 400 block of West Oglethorpe is empty.   Sheriff's Investigators say when they shut down customers started to believe they were victims of a theft scheme.
 Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Lt. Milton Thomas said "The company filed for bankruptcy.  And that's when all the customers really started coming in.  When they realized, they went to ask about their titles and tag, and there were no vehicles on the lot. So that's really when they started coming to us."

46 year old Jesus Arango was soon arrested, and is now charged with 11 counts of theft by deception, accused of taking customer's money meant to buy their tags and title.Thomas said "He's keeping the ad valorem tax money and pocketing that money.  He's not taking the titles down to the county tag office to apply for the people's tag.  And they are riding around with no tag on  their vehicle."

Customers said Arango would keep giving them excuses when they asked about their tag, saying it was on it's way.  
So far, he has been charged with ripping off 11 customers, and more victims were scheduled to meet with Investigators today.  Now Sheriff's Investigators say if there are more A & J Customers who have not received their tags, they want to know.
 Thomas said "If they want to come down to the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office, you will need all of your paperwork. Bill of sale and all the receipts that you have."

Investigators say the car dealership has been open about a year, and they have victims who bought there in November reporting they don't have titles or tags.

Investigators say some customers were overcharged $200 to $300  for their dealer fees.  Arango is out of the Dougherty County Jail on bond. Sheriff's Investigators say more arrests are pending as they reach out to more possible victims.

Thursday night, Arango's lawyer, Je'Nita Lane, released the following statement to WALB.

Jesus Arango maintains his innocence. The charges came after a failed and bitter business partnership. Mr. Arango is working desperately to make his customers whole and clear his name. Additionally, APD investigators also investigated the allegations and interviewed Mr. Arango's business partner. They declined to continue any investigation of him after learning that the business partner was making false statements to authorities and had the complainant's titles in her possession. 

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