DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - The Dougherty County Sheriff's Office has heard from dozens of victims of a suspected used car fraud scheme.
On Tuesday, the Dougherty County District Attorney and the Sheriff's Office asked people who bought used cars and had trouble getting their title to call Investigators.
And the response has been overwhelming.
Nearly 50 potential victims called, but investigators believe there could be many more victims of fraud by used car dealers.
Dougherty County Sheriff's investigators said that their phones have been ringing with calls from victims in a still growing used car fraud scheme.
"And it started multiplying into numerous cases made against various used car dealers in the city of Albany and Dougherty County," said Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Capt. Craig Dodd.
Two used car dealers have been arrested, Charles Jordan, co-owner of Epic Imports on North Slappey, has been charged with eight counts of theft by deception. And Jesus Arango, of A & J Motors, is facing more than a dozen counts.
Another dealer, Setrious Barney, has 8 warrants for his arrest, and Investigators said that he is on the run.
"They are going and getting the cars from places like the auto auctions, and putting them on their floor plans," explained Dodd. "And then never going back and paying for the cars. So the titles never come into their possession."
The customers can't get a title or tag, and often have the cars repossessed.
Now, at least six used car dealerships are under investigation for fraud, in what seems to be a growing crime issue.
"We are also working on making a connection between some of the dealerships that may be working together, in collaboration on some of these items," said Dodd.
Investigators said that they expect more victims to come forward, and more charges and arrests.
Dodd recommends that anyone buying a used car, find out as much information on the dealer as possible. And to read your contracts, and keep all paperwork from your purchase.
If you think you might be a victim, you are asked to call the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office at (229) 431-3222.