An alleged car thief used a phony test drive to steal a Mercedes in Coral Gables, and police say it's not the first time he's pulled off the scheme.
Pablo Rodriguez, 65, was arrested last Wednesday on grand theft and other charges in connection with the Mercedes theft, Coral Gables Police officials said.
Officials said Rodriguez, using a different name, contacted the victim through Facebook Marketplace and arranged to meet in Coral Gables for a test drive of the victim's 2009 Mercedes C300.
Rodriguez drove the Mercedes as the owner rode with him, and Rodriguez told the victim he wanted to buy the car for his daughter and wanted to stop by her place of work to surprise her, police said.
When they arrived at a hotel on LeJeune Road, Rodriguez asked the victim to bring his daughter out so he could surprise her, but when the victim got out of the car, Rodriguez drove off, police said.
Police later recovered the Mercedes, and said Rodriguez pulled the exact same scheme last March and stole another car last year.
Officials said anyone buying or selling items through social media should always meet in a public place, meet during the day, and keep personal items close.
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