Monterey County

Salinas police warn of car detail scam

SALINAS, Calif. - Salinas police said they have received reports of scams involving suspects claiming to be automobile detailers and swindling the elderly out of hundreds of dollars.

In one case, the victim had his car washed at a legitimate South Salinas business, but two men followed the victim to his home and told the victim that a chrome trim piece had been knocked off his car during the wash.

The suspects offered to fix the car and detail the exterior for a fee of $1,000. The suspects replaced a trim piece, applied a coat of wax and told the victim the wax needed to sit overnight.

They asked to be paid up front and said they would return the following day to finish the job. The suspects followed the victim to his bank and received the money, but did not return to finish the work.

In the second incident, the victim was approached by three men in the Safeway parking lot on N. Main St. They claimed they could "airbrush" the victim's car to make it look "brand new" for a fee of $1,500.

The men followed the victim to his bank, obtained the money, and followed the victim back to his home.

They applied a coat of wax, said it needed to sit overnight, and then never returned to finish the job. A faulty phone number was provided.

In both cases, the victims were elderly and it seems the suspects are preying on these vulnerable, elderly citizens.

Police are also concerned that these suspects know where the victims live and bank.

Salinas Police are asking for anyone with information on these or similar crimes to call the Watch Commander at 831-758-7250 or the anonymous crime tip line.

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