On April 1, 2015, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office began investigating a series of fraud cases involving a group claiming to be a mobile auto repair company who demand money up front and never complete the service they are paid for. On July 10, a suspect in these crimes was arrested for Fraudulent Schemes. The suspect, RANDY THOMPSON, a 34-year-old Casa Grande resident, is currently being held in Pinal County Sheriff’s Adult Detention Center with a $75,000 bond.
To date, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has identified several victims with losses in the thousands of dollars. The scams have taken place in unincorporated areas of Florence, in Arizona City, City of Casa Grande, the Town of Maricopa and the City of Mesa.
The organized crime group goes under the names of “Dent Doctor” and “Auto Body Repair”. The group is targeting communities with a large population of elderly residents. They drive around these communities and look for vehicles with small dents or minor body damage. They solicit the victims to pay up-front for on-site repairs. The scammers will sometimes do superficial and incomplete repair to the damage and then come up with a rouse to leave the area with the victim’s money. The suspects never return to finish the work.
Sheriff Paul Babeu said, “Mr. Thompson and his cohorts prey on the elderly by aggressively demanding money for services they appear to have no intent of completing. If you think you are a victim of this scam, please call our detectives and report the incident so we can hold the suspects accountable for all their crimes.” Babeu went on to warn, “You run a greater risk of being scammed if you deal with strangers who promise a service and demand money up front. These types of scams are preventable if you deal only with people or businesses you know and trust.”
PCSO Fraud Detectives are working with Casa Grande Police to identify more potential suspects and victims. Please contact the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office or your local police department if you think you may have been a victim of this scam. It is believed that the suspect was part of a larger group conducting this scheme around the county.