Police warn of car repair scam

Newport Beach police warned residents Wednesday that scam artists may be on the prowl.

On two separate occasions this month, residents were approached by one or two men who demanded money for work on the victim's vehicle, police said.

In one crime, on Jan. 19, a suspect approached a resident in the 100 block of Garnet and offered to fix scratches and a broken door handle for $1,400. The car's owner agreed and the suspect followed the victim to his bank, police said.

The suspect, described as a white man as 5 feet 7 inches tall with a medium build, later returned Jan. 22 asking for an additional $1,500 for a $3,000 rebate, but has disappeared since then, according to police.

That man, police said, used the name Tom Amico.

The next day, two men approached a resident and struck up a conversation with him, asking if he still lived on Balboa Island, according to police.

Later, the men showed up at the victim's home while he was in his garage. They began talking with him and working on the rear bumper of the man's vehicle. Afterward, the two demanded $450 for the work but left when the resident refused, police said.

Police only described the two as Latino men driving a large white pick-up truck.

Other possible victims of such scams can contact police at (949) 644-3717.

— Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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