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Vehicle dealership owner in Alberta turns to social media to identify an alleged fraudster

Vehicle dealership northeast of Edmonton warning others about alleged fraud attempt
WATCH ABOVE: A vehicle dealership northeast of Edmonton is taking to social media to warn others after an alleged fraud attempt. Chris Chacon has the details.

A Dodge dealership in the small town of Redwater, northeast of Edmonton, says it recent had a holiday surprise that it was fortunate to dodge.

“If we wouldn’t have been suspicious of them — they behaved suspiciously, there was four of them, one of them stayed in the vehicle in front of the showroom — I guess that was the getaway car,” Redwater Dodge owner David Tingley said Tuesday.

Tingley is alleging that an Alberta man, that he alleges was using fake identification out of British Columbia, tried to collect an early cashback from rebates on a vehicle he wasn’t actually going to buy. After seeing some red flags with the application, Tingley says the dealership confronted the man while in the building before he fled.

READ MORE: Identity theft used to steal high-end vehicles from Ontario car dealerships

Instead of having a feeling of holiday cheer this season, Tingley says, for him, it’s quite the opposite.

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“I’m pissed off,” he said. “I’m tired of people stealing from us.

“They seem to be able to do this repeatedly… there is no fear of the law and there’s no respect for businesses and citizens right now in our province.”

“Our investigation is still ongoing, but we do have some leads we are following up on[and] my hope is that will be able to identify the individual that was present that day and lay the appropriate charges,” said RCMP Cpl. Mark Joy.

After reporting the incident to RCMP, Tingley also took to social media, where he posted an image of the allegedly fake ID used which contained false information but had the the suspect’s picture.

It wasn’t long before the post gained a fair amount of traction on social media, reaching over 300,000 views in a matter of days.

“I decided to push back,” Tingley said. “I think more of us need to do that if we want this to stop.”

“Now its instantaneous — with the distribution of that information on social media, it does assist us in our investigation, but it does require us to verify that information because we don’t know where the source of that information is coming,” Joy said.

This is not the first time the dealership has fallen victim to crime. In 2018, the business lost thousands of dollars when tires and rims were stolen off its property. The theft was also captured on video surveillance.

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Since 2014, the owner says the dealership has lost more than $300,000 due to thefts and other crimes, an issue he blames on a struggling economy.

“The reason that these young people steal is because they don’t have the dignity of work,” Tingley said. “I think we need to take them, and instead of putting them in jail, we need to give them a job.”