LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, FLA. (WSVN) - A deal to buy a sports car online took a troubling turn for a man who said a gun was pointed at him by a con man who ripped him off.
William Gutierrez said 26-year-old Gregory Legagneur conned him out of his life savings and the 2017 silver Ford Mustang GT he thought he was buying.
“He was very persuasive. He has a way with words,” Gutierrez said. “I came across the deal on Craigslist.”
The 20-year-old called the number on the ad and spoke with Legagneur for several days before they made a plan to meet up for the supposed car sale.
“He was telling me about him, he was telling me how he buys and sells cars, so he gave off the impression that he’s done this before,” Gutierrez said.
They agreed on a price of $16,000 for the Mustang.
Gutierrez said they first agreed to meet in a public place before Legagneur changed the location.
“He was like, ‘Oh, would you like to come to my house? I trust you,’ this and that, so I ended up going to his house,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez and his girlfriend met at a place they thought was Legagneur’s home in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
“The house had dark wood floors, dark furniture. He wore designer clothes, very well dressed,” Gutierrez said, “spoke professionally. He knew what he was talking about.”
The would-be buyer test drove the car and was sold. He left to withdraw some cash and returned to the house.
“We sat down, he was checking the bills with a blacklight. He opened the refrigerator, asked if we wanted anything to drink, he went to the bathroom,” Gutierrez said. “We found out after there were no clothes in the house. There’s nothing in the refrigerator. There was nothing. The house was empty. It was an Airbnb.”
Gutierrez said Legagneur left to get the title, “and when he came out, since I don’t know him, I turned around and looked at him, pointing a gun right at me, just said, ‘Don’t go anywhere.’ He had my money and everything already, so I just got in front of my girlfriend,” he said.
The accused con man exited the house through a window and then got into the Mustang to flee the scene.
Gutierrez took a picture of the car, with the license plate and that’s how police were able to locate Legagneur.
“Once detectives put out a notice that they were looking for the suspect, Plantation Police actually saw the suspect’s vehicle and followed that vehicle,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Joy Oglesby. “They were able to apprehend the suspect.”
The victim is out $16,000, but the subject is now facing a judge.
“I couldn’t believe it happened, but I can’t sit there and cry about it either,” Gutierrez said. “He’s smart. He got me fooled, and I take very good precaution.”
Legagneur was already on probation and is set to go before a judge on Thursday.
BSO deputies advise that you meet at a police station or sheriff’s office if you’re planning to make an online transaction. They said if there’s no funny business involved, the seller will not have a problem meeting there.
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