A “smooth talking” former Seattle car salesman was arrested recently, charged with stealing two recreational vehicles, and police suspect he tried to steal a third.
Police found the 33-year-old man unconscious behind the wheel of an RV parked in a lot in northwest Seattle. When officers woke the man, he told them he stole the RV from an Everett dealership. They found a second stolen RV in a nearby parking lot. It had been taken from an Enumclaw dealership. The RVs are valued at more than $200,000. The man was arrested on suspicion of theft.
Witnesses described the suspect as a “smooth talker.” He is being investigated for other property crimes in the Seattle area. The man was detained by police a month earlier near a car dealership in the city's industrial district after someone had attempted to break into a car. Police found him near the dealership carrying a screwdriver and a walkie-talkie, but they were unable to tie him to the attempted break-in.
Depending upon what the man did or planned to do with the RVs, he could be found guilty of first-degree or second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission.
A person is guilty of taking a motor vehicle without permission in the first degree if he or she intentionally takes or drives away a motor vehicle that is the property of another, and he or she:
- Alters the motor vehicle for the purpose of changing its appearance or primary identification, including obscuring, removing, or changing the manufacturer's serial number or the vehicle identification number plates;
- Removes, or participates in the removal of, parts from the motor vehicle with the intent to sell the parts;
- Exports, or attempts to export, the motor vehicle across state lines or out of the United States for profit;
- Intends to sell the motor vehicle; or
- Is engaged in a conspiracy and the central object of the conspiratorial agreement is the theft of motor vehicles for sale to others for profit or is engaged in a conspiracy and has solicited a juvenile to participate in the theft of a motor vehicle.
First-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission is a Class B felony.
If the man is found guilty of second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission, a Class C felony, he faces up to five years in prison, or a $10,000 fine, or both. Similar to first-degree, a person is guilty of taking a motor vehicle without permission in the second degree if he or she, intentionally takes or drives away any motor vehicle that is the property of another, or he or she voluntarily rides in or upon the motor vehicle with knowledge of the fact that the motor vehicle was unlawfully taken.
No matter the crime, every defendant has a right to representation by a qualified attorney. If you have been arrested and face criminal charges, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.