A scam artist with a history of deception has been arrested again by Cheektowaga police, who said this time he’s faking car problems to make some easy money.
Brian Davis, 51, of Bailey Avenue, was arrested after two April incidents in which drivers were asked for a jump to start a car, police said.
Davis’ story went like this, according to Police Capt. Jim Speyer: “Do you mind giving me a jump? My car is broken down.” “Davis then jumps into the passenger side of the vehicle and gives the driver directions,” Speyer said. “He’s not invited into the car. He forces himself in and tells the driver how to get to his ‘disabled’ vehicle.”
Of course, the vehicle is not there. Speyer said Davis does not appear to own a vehicle, judging from the report of a victim who followed Davis after being scammed out of $20.
“In most cases, people can’t get him out of the car until they give him money,” Speyer said. “He’s always lying. He’ll keep leading the driver to different locations in search of a vehicle that does not exist.”
It’s at that point, according to the police captain, that Davis makes his pitch for cash.
“Actually what I need is $15 to get my car fixed,” Davis will say to the driver, according to Speyer. “A lot of times they give it to him. A lot of times they won’t.”
The first incident happened April 12 at the Tops Market at 3865 Union Road in Cheektowaga, police reported.
A 30-year-old man was leaving the store when Davis approached him, asking for a jump. The man agreed, and Davis immediately hopped into the car. Once on Union Road, Davis kept changing the location of his disabled vehicle, and then he asked for cash.
The driver eventually gave him $20, then followed him.
On April 19, Davis struck at the Walmart in the Thruway Plaza.
This time a 26-year-old man agreed to help Davis with his disabled car. The driver then gave Davis $3, but Davis demanded more.
“Davis would not get out, so the victim eventually handed over 50 cents in change,” Speyer said.
Cheektowaga Police Officer Jacob Wodowski caught up with Davis in a grocery store at the Thruway Plaza and took him into custody.
Davis faces two counts of scheming to defraud.
“He’s a scam artist is what he is,” Speyer said.
“We’ve been fortunate nobody has been hurt, but if it continues, someone may get hurt.”
Cheektowaga police advise drivers to keep their doors locked.
But what if someone still manages to jump into your car?
“Drive to a police station,” Speyer said. “Or take the keys, leave the car and call 911.”