DOBSON — A Mount Airy man has been charged with felony violations stemming from his alleged sale of vehicles he did not provide to the buyers, according to the Surry County Sheriff’s Office.
Gary Lee Goad, 60, of 170 Centerwood Drive, who also was served with a warrant on April 7 for a similar crime in Mount Airy in March, became the subject of an investigation by Detective Ashley Doiel of the Sheriff’s Office on April 21.
It was based on a complaint involving Goad from a county resident, whose name was not released, advising that Goad had approached him in the yard of his residence.
The man said Goad was extremely personable and offered to assist him in obtaining gravel for his driveway, according to an account provided by county authorities. During a conversation with Goad, the resident also was advised by Goad that he was a used car salesman and had two vans for sale.
That led the victim to provide Goad with a check for $985 for the gravel and vans.
Two days later, Goad re-approached the victim and advised him that he also could also get a good deal on tires for his truck. The victim paid Goad with a check for $320 for the tires.
After an investigation into Goad’s employment and background, it was determined that he is not a used car salesman and the victim has not received the vehicle or tires, according to authorities.
The Sheriff’s Office received a second complaint regarding Goad last Thursday from another unidentified person who alleged that Goad had sold him a Ford Escort, which the victim paid for but was delivered with no title.
After further discussion, it was agreed by both parties that Goad would accept the vehicle back and trade for another.
Goad retrieved the vehicle and told the victim that he could get tires for his van for $195. Goad disclosed that he also would need $60 for the title transfer for the traded vehicle, but despite paying a total of $955 in March the man allegedly has not received a vehicle or the tires.
Charges of obtaining property by false pretense subsequently were issued against Goad, who was released on bond and is scheduled to appear in Surry District Court on June 14.
Goad previously was served with a warrant in April for a felony charge of obtaining property by false pretense issued by Mount Airy police.
It had been filed on March 17, stemming from an incident in which Wayne Lucas Willard of Gray Stone Road paid Goad for the purchase of a vehicle that he allegedly did not provide, based on previous reports.
A $1,500 unsecured bond was set for Goad in that case, which is on the District Court calendar for June 5.
Would-be victims warned
Goad has an extensive criminal history of obtaining property by false pretense involving vehicles and tires, according to county authorities.
He is now on probation from Virginia for fraud and confidence games, they say.
Anyone who believes they also have been a victim is encouraged to contact the Surry County Sheriff’s Office at 336-401-8900.
Meanwhile, Capt. Lloyd Terry said there are precautions consumers can take to avoid such scams, beginning with a tried-and-true principle he has seen bear out repeatedly over his 30-plus years in law enforcement:
“If it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” Terry said of being offered something at a supposedly bargain price.
“Deal with reputable people or businesses,” is another bit of advice offered by Terry.
Pressure sales tactics also should serve as a red flag, he said.
“Slow things down and think about it, Terry said, even if a vehicle or other purchase appears to be a really great deal.
Consulting a trusted family member is another tip he offered. “Two heads are better than one.”
Terry added that the Surry Sheriff’s Office, or other appropriate local law enforcement agency, also can be contacted if someone is wary of a would-be seller.
Personnel there can share any previous complaints registered about that individual.
“It’s better to call and save a little time,” Terry said.
When such a crime is prevented, it means investigators can direct their efforts elsewhere, he said, “and it will save them (consumers) some grief as well.”
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.