Coral Gables police arrest car thief who scammed people on Facebook Marketplace – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports


CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) – A man has been arrested in Coral Gables for stealing a motor vehicle after offering to meet the seller on Facebook Marketplace.

Pablo Rodriguez contacted a man selling a 2009 Mercedes-Benz C300 and asked if they could meet in Coral Gables for a test drive on April 24.

When the salesman agreed to meet Rodriguez, they both drove to another location so Rodriguez could surprise his “daughter” at work with the new vehicle.

Rodriguez stopped at a hotel in the 2200 block of LeJeune Road and asked the salesman to bring his “daughter” to surprise her.

The owner of the Mercedez-Benz got out of the car before Rodriguez left.

Officials said Rodriguez has multiple aliases and was previously arrested by Coral Gables police for the exact same scheme in March 2021.

Detectives said Rodriguez had not changed his method of theft since last year after being arrested for the same crime.

Rodriguez has been known to find high-end cars for sale on Facebook Marketplace and ask the seller to test drive the vehicle.

He would drive the car to a hotel in Coral Gables and mention his “daughter” who works the front desk.

Rodriguez tells the car owner that he is interested in buying the car for his “daughter” and asks them to help surprise her by entering the hotel to bring her outside.

Once the owner of the vehicle is far enough away, Rodriguez accelerates with the vehicle and does not respond to them.

Rodriguez is charged with grand theft auto for the second time.

Officials said some tips to remember when meeting a stranger are to meet in a public place, always have your things in front of you and, if possible, meet during the day.

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