Records: Used car salesman charged with theft

McAllen police arrested a 49-year-old used car salesman late last week who they accuse of defrauding Burns Motors out of payment of $154,840 for the sale of six vehicles.

Authorities arrested Carlos Rodriguez, owner of Charlie’s Used Cars, on May 21 on a charge of theft of property, more than $150,000 but less than $300,000.

Investigators allege in a probable cause affidavit that the theft began on Aug. 12, 2019, when Rodriguez attended a vehicle auction at Burns Motors where he took custody of a black 2017 Nissan Maxima, a black Ford F-250 pickup, a brown 2015 Jeep Wrangler, a red Jeep Wrangler, a black Mercedes Benz and a silver Dodge Ram.

According to police, Rodriguez provided Burns Motors with promissory notes for each vehicle financed through a bank in Pearsall.

Burns Motors and Rodriguez agreed that the man would pay the dealership when the vehicles were sold, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Sometime last December, police say a State Farm Bank in Bloomington, Illinois, began sending demands to Burns Motors.

Investigators allege the vehicles had been sold and State Farm Bank paid Rodriguez for the vehicles.

β€œIn February 2020 Burns Motors received a demand letter from State Farm Bank for all six vehicle titles due to State Farm Bank financing the vehicles and holding the lien on all six vehicles,” a detective wrote in the probable cause affidavit.

Burns Motors later learned that the bank in Pearsall who Rodriguez said was financing the purchase of the vehicles had closed its loan agreement and stopped doing business with Rodriguez on July 23, 2019 β€” approximately three weeks before Rodriguez attended the auction at Burns Motors where he took custody of the vehicles and promised to pay the dealership once those vehicles were sold, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Rodriguez is free on a $10,000 bond.