Why boost a Mopar when you can “finance” it?
By now everyone knows modern Mopars muscle cars are huge theft magnets. We’ve covered a number of Dodge Challengers and Chargers swiped from dealerships and private citizens, both during the dead of night and in broad daylight. However, we’re seeing a new disturbing trend of people obtaining the high-powered machines through financial schemes. This has been artfully portrayed by a Dodge Challenger Cobra Kai replica which was for sale at Monicatti Automotive Sales and apparently was obtained fraudulently 3 weeks ago.
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According to a social media post by Mike Monicatti, the owner of the Chesterfield, Michigan dealership, the man pictured with the Cobra Kai Dodge Challenger obtained the car through straight-up fraud. The guy smiled and posed for multiple pictures with the car when he took delivery, then drove off and disappeared. Now the dealer is offering a $1,000 cash reward for info about the man and the car.
Monicatti says the name on the man’s driver’s license was “Charles Cecil” but that could be fake. He claimed to have moved to Michigan from Utah 18 months prior and said he’s a Comcast employee and has been with the company for 10 years. With a down payment, loan approval from a credit union, and a 750 credit score, the dealership handed over the keys.
This is where the story gets interesting: according to Monicatti, 2 weeks after the sale of the car the bank called to inform the dealership the insurance policy provided for the Dodge Challenger wasn’t valid. What’s more, the bank couldn’t verify Charles Cecil’s employment information. Then part of the down payment was returned by the credit card processor. Now the small dealership is on the hook for the $30,000 car.
Maybe you think this is a bit of “justice” for dealerships which treat customers unfairly. We get it, car dealers can have a horrible reputation. We’ve never had dealings with Monicatti Automotive Sales and can’t speak to how they operate, but defrauding a dealership is never an okay thing to do.
Before you argue this is a Robin Hood-style of justice, just realize as businesses take losses through fraud like this, they inevitably have to pass the cost on to honest consumers in one way or another. That means we all end up paying for the dishonesty of people who try to act like their schemes are “victimless” crimes.
Another argument is that if a business has insurance, it doesn’t matter if people steal from them. That is, or course, a similarly weak stance. A situation like this wouldn’t be covered by insurance anyway, but even if it were, the more insurance claims are filed the more insurance providers are forced to increase coverage fees. That means everyone ends up paying for the crimes, just like how stores have to charge more for products when people shoplift.
Monicatti Automotive Sales created the replica Dodge Challenger Cobra Kai like the one used in the popular show. It reportedly took a couple of months to complete the customizations. Having the muscle car at the dealership generated a lot of online buzz and Mike Monicatti says people showed up just to get their picture taken with it. The fact the muscle car was then swindled away through apparently fraudulent means is heartbreaking.
Just to be clear, we’re taking Mike Monicatti’s story at face value. Whether or not this Charles Cecil guy is guilty of committing any crimes is something which will need to be determined by the justice system. If you know anything about this car or the guy in the photos, contact Monicatti Automotive Sales.