A California man is accused of having stolen two cars from San Francisco Bay Area car dealerships within days of one another using fake IDs to fraudulently apply for loans to purchase the vehicles.
Later identified as Philip Cedric Espina, the 24-year-old man is accused of having gone to a dealership in Walnut Creek and used a fake ID to purchase a black BMW. Days later, he was at Autobahn Gallery in Dublin, California, buying a white one, reports KTVU.
“This guy came in here, gave us fake information as a different person, and took one of our cars,” Matt Saatchi, the dealership‘s general manager told the outlet. “The banks approved it. It was good. Everything checked out.”
Espina was approved for the loan that got him the car on June 13. In a surveillance video shared by Saatchi, the man, dressed in black, can be seen entering the Dublin dealership with the vehicle he had allegedly stolen from the Walnut Creek dealership days earlier.
But it was an extremely busy week for Espina because on top of being accused of stealing two vehicles, he was also involved in an accident in the second, black BMW two days after it was stolen. Police arrested him and Saatchi identified the man in a photo lineup.
But the story only keeps getting weirder. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said that Espina was bailed out the same day he was arrested. That is concerning to Saatchi who said the man has three other outstanding cases pending against him involving stolen vehicles and other charges.
“We’re pretty frustrated over $100,000 worth of cars over three days from two dealerships. This is grand theft and the guy is out and about,” said Saatchi. “I don’t want this to happen to anybody else. It’s not okay.”
The owner of the first dealership that was hit, meanwhile, said that their BMW was returned with 15 credit card machines and a weapon in the trunk. For the second car, meanwhile, Espina is facing identity theft, fraud, and stolen vehicle charges.