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3 charged with odometer fraud; 30 more suspected

November 23, 2010

Police with the DuPage County Auto Theft Task Force arrested three Irish Travelers Nov. 2 on charges of odometer fraud, for rolling back mileage on a pickup truck and attempting to trade the vehicle in to a new-car dealership in DuPage County. Irish Travelers, also known as "White Gypsies," are members of a nomadic ethnic group of uncertain origin. Illinois State Police Sgt. Joe Galvan said another 20 to 30 members are suspected to be in the area with 10 cars and trucks they are attempting to sell to dealers. Galvan said police intend to file additional charges of felonious forgery against the three in custody for certifying the false odometer readings. Used-car sales managers, appraisers and others involved in trade-ins at dealerships should examine vehicles for signs of odometer fraud, such as markings that suggest dashboard tampering or wear to tires or shocks that does not conform with mileage indicated on the odometer. The Irish Travelers in custody had good credit ratings, but were notable for wanting to complete transactions quickly with their late model trade-ins. Dealers who suspect odometer tampering should call Galvan at 630-587- 8055.