Police track down man who paid for new Cadillac with bad check, then skipped town

LaVerkin Police patrol truck. | File photo by Austin Peck, St. George News

ST. GEORGE A Washington City man was arrested in LaVerkin Saturday on a warrant arising from an incident last January, when he paid for a new Cadillac with a check that was returned to the dealership days later showing the account was closed.

Rex Roberts, booking photo, Washington County, Utah, Jan. 26, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Rex Roberts, 64, was booked into jail on the second-degree felony warrant for issuing a bad check or draft.

On Jan. 15, 2018, Roberts purchased the new 2017 Cadillac CTS sedan from Stephen Wade Cadillac for the ticket price of $56,200, which he paid for with using a personal check written for the entire amount.

Three days later, the dealership received the check back from the bank showing it was written on a closed account. When the dealership contacted Roberts he allegedly said he would “pay the funds back,” according to a probable cause statement.

When the dealership didn’t hear back from Roberts, it went to repossess the car but was unable to locate it. Police were contacted, and detectives worked to locate Roberts and the vehicle over the next several months.

Mo Davis, sales manager for Stephen Wade, told St. George News that Roberts it’s not unusual for a customer to write a personal check for the purchase price of the vehicle.

The dealership accepts checks for the entire amount of the car in some cases, as long as the person buying the car is a local resident and the check is drawn on a local bank branch.

“That’s the way we do business and something we have done for our customers. What happened in this case has never happened before, at least to my knowledge,” Davis said.

On May 15, detectives located a relative of Roberts who lived in Washington state and soon after discovered that Roberts lived there as well. He had the Cadillac with him.

Two days later officers questioned Roberts in Washington state. He told them he was expecting to receive a “large sum of money,” funds he planned to use to pay back the dealership.

The car purchased was a 2017 Cadillac CTS, similar to the model shown in the photo | Photo courtesy of Cadillac, St. George News

Asked why he failed to contact the dealership with his plans, Roberts asked for an attorney, and the interview was terminated, police say in the statement.

Roberts was arrested and taken to Purgatory Correctional Facility where he remained until his release Aug. 8 after pleading guilty to the charge in June.

However, he failed to appear for a sentencing hearing, and on Nov. 7 a warrant was issued for his arrest.

That arrest took place Saturday when LaVerkin Police Sgt. Amber Crouse was on patrol and observed Roberts going into a residence carrying some shopping bags. She said she thought she recognized him from a broadcast that went out a month or so earlier.

Once she confirmed through a photo that it was in fact Roberts, she knocked on the door of the residence and was initially told the defendant wasn’t there. As Crouse was questioning the individual who answered the door, however, Roberts came out and was taken into custody.

Crouse added that while she was aware of the misdemeanor warrant when she first observed Roberts going into the residence, she only discovered the felony warrant with the $10,000 cash-only bail after she ran a records check minutes later.

Roberts remains in jail for both the felony warrant and a misdemeanor warrant out of Washington City for failing to appear in court for driving on a suspended license.

This report is based on statements from police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • KR567 January 29, 2019 at 5:59 am

    shouldn’t you be complaining about park benches or something….and as far as your statement about your so called ‘encounter ‘ with the Wade dealership goes thats nothing more than another one of your hate rants and nothing more

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