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Four arrested in Tampa car theft scheme

TAMPA — A car mechanic and several acquaintances were arrested Monday after they stole a car, fraudulently changed the ownership title and resold it on Craigslist, police said.

This is what police say happened:

In early October, Ian Ackroyd, 22, left his 1987 Ford Mustang unattended in the parking lot of Tires Plus, at 5136 E Fowler Ave. Ackroyd couldn't afford to repair his car and arranged to leave it at the shop.

A mechanic, 24-year-old Lupe Ramos, stole the Mustang and took it to the home of his father-in-law, James Jones, 42. Jones called Nancy Douglas, 28, and asked her to get him a new title for the stolen car.

Douglas, who used to work for a title company, gave Jones an affidavit and title application, and Jones forged Ackroyd's signature. The document was used to obtain a new title.

Joseph Desiano, 21, took the title, posted the car for sale on Craigslist and sold it without telling buyers it had been stolen.

Officers were alerted by the Department of Motor Vehicles when the new owner tried to register it, and they came to question him. That led police to the suspects, who were arrested around 1:15 p.m.

Each was charged with grand theft of an automobile and three counts of title fraud.

Four arrested in Tampa car theft scheme 12/02/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 11:32pm]
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