Two men, who are believed to be part of a much larger operation, are in jail after allegedly trying to buy a car with fraudulent documents, authorities said.
Shawn Milstead, 22, and Jason Tucker, 35, were arrested by Covington police Saturday after a sting operation, the department said.
The attempted theft happened at Ginn Motors on U.S. 278, police said. The Special Investigative Unit of the Georgia State Patrol helped Covington police with the investigation.
Sales manager Wes Nash told Channel 2 Action News that something seemed odd about the men’s paperwork after they showed up at a strange time.
“Being out of state, coming in right before closing (time), you would think they would’ve called ahead to try to make sure the vehicle was still here and we were still open,” Nash told the news station.
Covington police Capt. Ken Malcom said the men had fake identification forms and fraudulent financial records.
“We had one of our detectives working undercover,” Malcom told Channel 2. “He basically oversaw the transaction and witnessed the forgery, and as soon as that occurred he gave us the signal to make the arrest.”
The two men allegedly tried to buy a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Track Hawk worth about $102,000. Authorities said they also found a stolen 2018 Land Rover in the sting.
Malcom said police do not believe this incident was random or isolated.
“We believe the two offenders are part of a ring that attempts to use fraudulent identification and financing to essentially steal high-end cars from dealerships and rental car businesses,” he said.
Malcom said the men could be part of a national theft ring trying to fraudulently finance luxury cars. The men focus on dealerships on the outskirts of large cities like Atlanta, he said.
Milstead, who is from Inglewood, California, is charged with eight counts of first-degree forgery, three counts of second-degree forgery and one count of theft by receiving. Tucker, of Pontiac, Michigan, is charged with one count of theft by receiving.
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