National News

Norcross man unwittingly pays $10,000 for stolen car

Posted August 22

— Last week Gwinnett County police arrested a man they said sold a stolen car to an unwitting Norcross man for $10,000 in July.

Monroe resident Gustavo Frias-Martinez, 55, was booked into Gwinnett County jail on Aug. 16.

Police began looking into Frias-Martinez on July 25 when a Norcross woman attempted to register a newly purchased 2016 Nissan Altima at the Gwinnett Tag Office. The staff there realized the car's title was fake and called the police.

The woman took police to the car at a home in Norcross. Detectives with the Motor Vehicle Theft Unit discovered that the Nissan was a "clone," meaning its original VIN was either removed or covered by a VIN belonging to a similar vehicle.

"This is done to disguise the fact that the vehicle is likely stolen," said Gwinnett police Cpl. Michele Pihera.

The woman told police that her father bought the car for $10,000 from a Hispanic man he met at a mechanic shop in Duluth. Police believe that man was Frias-Martinez.

Frias-Martinez has been charged with theft by receiving stolen property, forgery in the first degree and possession of a stolen vehicle with altered VIN.

Anybody else who has been victimized by Frias should call detectives at 770-513-5300.

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