Gwinnett County

Gwinnett County man helps police catch seller he says sold him stolen van

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County man helped set up the sting that led to the arrest of a man who allegedly sold him an altered and stolen van, according to police.

Fredy Juarez thought he scored a good deal on a 2016 Ford Transit van last month when he bought one from a seller on Facebook for $10,000.

On Monday, Channel 2 Action News told you how Juarez was sold a stolen van on Facebook Marketplace.

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He needed one for his home remodeling business.

“[I’m] just an entrepreneur trying to make a living,” he told Channel 2 Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson.

The father of six had recently sold a vehicle on Facebook himself.

When he met the seller of the van, he paid for it after a brief inspection of the VIN and the title that came with the vehicle.


It wasn’t until he took the vehicle to a Gwinnett County tag office that he realized the van was not what it seemed.

“They said the car was nowhere to be found in the system,” Juarez told Channel 2 Action News.

He got police involved and learned the VIN that came with the van was fake and the vehicle’s true VIN confirmed it was stolen out of Ohio. Police seized the van because it had been reported stolen.

With Juarez out $10,000, he couldn’t make contact with the original seller because he said the seller had blocked him on social media.

However, he saw a similar van for sale a few days later and realized the seller was the same person.

“I came across the same profile that sold me the VIN that didn’t exist,” he said.

He followed up with police and said he wanted to help them catch him so he set up a sale for the additional vehicle with a friend’s account. The seller agreed to meet him at a gas station on Winder Highway in Gwinnett County on April 8.

“I was texting the guy from my friends profile to tell him, ‘Hey, I am here,” he said. “When he got there, the police were waiting for him.”

Police arrested 24-year-old Emir Mehic and charged him with theft by deception.

Investigators say to always check a vehicle’s VIN before buying.

Juarez said he’s relieved the suspect was arrested but worries there may be other victims caught in similar situations.

“This doesn’t mean it’s going to stop,” he says. “It is more than just one guy.”

Juarez is hoping to raise money online to help pay for another work vehicle he can use to support his family.

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