Monroe, Ga. man charged in vehicle ‘cloning’ scheme

Gustavo Frias-Martinez, 55, Photo credit: Gwinnett County Police Department

Gwinnett County Police Department is seeking other potential victims of a vehicle cloning scheme allegedly perpetrated by a Monroe, Ga. man. Gustavo Frias-Martinez (age 55, River Edge Lane, Monroe, was booked into Gwinnett County Detention Center on Aug. 16, 2017, charged with theft by receiving stolen property, first degree forgery and possession of a stolen vehicle with an altered VIN.

According to GCPD, the scheme came to light when a Norcross woman attempted to register a newly purchased 2016 Nissan Altima for which she had allegedly paid Frias-Martinez $10,000. During the investigation, it was determined that the vehicle was a “clone.” It was subsequently impounded.  GCPD report that a cloned vehicle is a vehicle that has had the original VIN either removed or covered up by a VIN belonging to a similar vehicle in order to disguise that it was stolen. This vehicle was traced to one stolen out of Miami, Fla. The VIN displayed was not the true VIN.

The victim’s father had paid $10,00o to Frias-Martinez, who he met a mechanic shop in Duluth, in exchange for the vehicle and a fraudulent title.

If anyone else has been victimized by Frias-Martinez, they are asked to report it to GCPD at 770 513-5300.


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