By Jay Meisel
VERO BEACH - While sometimes dealerships report that people take cars on test drives and never return, authorities say a Vero Beach man came up with a new twist on that.
Trevor Justin Shane, 34, 240 N.E. Mainsail St., Vero Beach, who was charged with stealing five vehicles, told authorities his scheme was to visit junkyards and get keys to older models of vehicles.
Then he would locate the same model at a dealership, take the car on a test drive, return it and give back the junkyard key instead of the dealership's car key, a report said.
The man told police he would return at night and take the vehicle using the stolen key he retained, the report said.
In all, police accuse the man of stealing five vehicles, three from Palm Beach County and two from Martin County.
A second man, who said he didn't know the vehicles were stolen, but suspected it, was also arrested.
Mr. Shane was also arrested April 18 and charged with five counts of grand theft of a motor vehicle, four counts of title fraud, fleeing and four counts of perjury.
The other suspect, Pedro Zamora, 37, 1506 15th Lane, Palm Beach Gardens, was arrested April 18 and charged with dealing in stolen property.
He told police he did not directly steal the vehicles, but stopped talking when detectives would not allow him to smoke, the report said.
The arrests occurred after the owner of Mr. Scrap, a business in Vero Beach, reported Mr. Shane sold him four vehicles, including a 1996 Ford, a 1997 Toyota, a 1997 Saturn and a 1988 Lincoln.
Although Mr. Shane signed a form that he owned the vehicles, the business later found two of the vehicles were reported stolen from Palm Beach County days earlier, the affidavit said.
Authorities later determined all four were stolen, the report said.
When Mr. Shane called the business again and said he had another vehicle to sell, the business apparently notified deputies who were on hand when Mr. Shane arrived, the report said.
But when they tried to arrest him, he led them on a chase, the report said.
Eventually, the vehicle, which was driven for a distance with flat tires, stopped, the report said.
That vehicle was also reported stolen, the report said.