Traffic Stop Tips Cops Off To Two Stolen Cadillac Escalades

Estimated read time 3 min read

There are some people who seem to think when a police officer pulls them over they don’t have to answer any questions, including who they are and who owns the vehicle they’re driving. Withholding that sort of information is a good way to not only raise suspicion but probably get yourself arrested. It’s traffic stops like one involving a Cadillac Escalade in Sumter County done by Florida Highway Patrol recently shows why cops ask these and other questions.

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These days stolen vehicles are literally everywhere and law enforcement should be trying to track them down. We know if our ride were stolen we’d be grateful for police finding and returning it. In this instance, a former car dealer got busted for driving a stolen Cadillac Escalade, with another one found afterward.

According to Pasco News, 39-year-old Yajaira Martinez who is the owner of now-defunct Champa Bay Auto Brokers, was pulled over in one Escalade bearing dealer plates. The original reason for her being pulled over was excessive speed, however the trooper began to be suspicious when Martinez said she didn’t have the SUV’s paperwork.

Looking at the dashboard VIN tag, the trooper noted it looked fake and was obviously installed unprofessionally. We’ve seen VIN tags with mismatched screws, the tag itself bent, and other telltale signs it’s not the factory original.

After checking a secondary VIN on the Cadillac, the trooper confirmed the numbers didn’t match. The fake tag matched a 2020 Escalade, but the real VIN showed it was a 2018. To the shock of nobody, the real VIN returned a hit as having been stolen out of Pennsylvania.

After busting Marinez, police went to the location of the old dealership and found another Escalade which was reported stolen out of Clearwater, Florida back in June. Like the one from the traffic stopped it had been “rebirthed” or “re-vinned” to hide the fact it was stolen.

Keep in mind up until April of this year Martinez was selling cars. We’re not sure if she sold anything that was stolen to unsuspecting car shoppers, but we’ve seen cases of dealers doing just that. We recommend whether you’re going through a private party or a dealership you run the VIN through a database like the NICB’s VINCheck. If you know how, check the VIN on the chassis or engine block against what’s on the driver’s doorjamb or dash, too. These days it doesn’t hurt to be extra careful.

Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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