Crafty teen accused of using stolen vehicles to scam vehicle owners

(WSVN) - A South Florida teen went on a creative crime spree, cops say. They say an 18-year-old would steal cars and then use them as collateral to scam people. Rosh Lowe has the story in The Lowedown.

William Lopez is an avid ATV rider. In September, he decided to sell his blue Yamaha for $3,900. He posted the picture of his ATV online and thought he had a buyer.

He met up with 18-year-old Jaime Herrera at a West Miami-Dade park.

William Lopez: “At first he acted like he didn’t know how to ride the ATV.”

William Lopez
William Lopez

Lopez says Herrera drove up in a newer model black Chevy Equinox and asked to test drive the ATV, leaving his car behind.

William was a little concerned about Jaime, but he figured there was a car there, so he let Jaime get on the ATV. Jaime takes off and he never comes back.

William Lopez: “Right when he was leaving, when he was turning the corner, my best friend had a bad feeling about it, so he kept telling me, ‘Hey, look, let’s just go.’ I said, ‘No, he’s going to turn right here.'”

But he never turned around and came back.

Cops say Jaime Herrera was a pro at stealing, not just ATVs, but cars, too.

Cops say Herrera would go around checking car doors in the neighborhood. In some cases, the cars were open with the keys inside, and that’s how, cops say, Herrera would get the very cars he would use as collateral.

Miami-Dade Police Detective Ravid Udnani: “He also stole this motorcycle after he met the victim in the Town of Miami Lakes area.”

Miami-Dade Police Detective Ravid Udnani
Miami-Dade Police Detective Ravid Udnani

And that’s not all. Miami-Dade Detective Ravi Udnani says Herrera stole two other motorcycles in the exact same way.

Herrera’s run would end when cops busted him in late September. The victims were piling up, and cops had a good description of the teen.

Detective Ravid Udnani: “It was kind of like he had no remorse for anybody. He didn’t care what he did.”

William Lopez cares.

William Lopez: “I wouldn’t be able to look at him. If I had him in front of me, it wouldn’t be good.”

Cops say there are more victims out there, and have this advice for anyone selling anything online.

Detective Ravid Udnani: “Try to meet at a public place, like a police station, in front of a police station. If not, when you’re dealing with this, try to get a license, try to get an ID of the individual.”

William Lopez: “There’s a lesson you learn. It won’t happen to me again.”

Police think there are more victims out there, so if you believe you’ve had any contact with Jamie Herrera, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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