Used car buyers in Austin are getting ripped off in record numbers. Con artists are rolling back the mileage on odometers to make the vehicles seem more valuable. The fraud is costing victims an average of $4,000 each.Continue reading
Kenneth Rose was on a roll.
But state and local authorities say they have stopped him, shutting down a major odometer fraud operation after a three-year investigation.
Rose, 41, was in custody Wednesday, accused of rolling back odometers on hundreds of Texas vehicles.
“The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles does not tolerate anyone ripping off Texas auto buyers,” said Whitney Brewster, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles director, in a Wednesday news release. “Mileage is a key factor that consumers use when deciding whether to buy a used vehicle. Tampering with an odometer to deceive a buyer is a serious crime that puts innocent Texans’ safety and finances at risk.”
Rose was arrested earlier this month on a charge of tampering with an odometer. He also faces driving while intoxicated and obstructing highway passage charges, according to Tarrant County jail records.
Rose is accused of having contacts with area used-car dealerships.
Officials noted that buyers could pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more for a vehicle if an odometer has been rolled back. In addition, buyers may believe they have a low-mileage vehicle, when it’s actually one with serious safety issues.
Officials with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles will contact victims whose vehicles may have had their odometers rolled back.
The case was investigated by the Tarrant County Regional Auto Crimes Task Force, the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, Fort Worth and Grand Prairie police, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Do a title check.
- Check vehicle history reports.
- Obtain a vehicle inspection report.
- Write down the vehicle identification number.
- Examine the interior and exterior of the vehicle carefully.
Source: Texas Department of Motor Vehicles