Former Car Dealer Arrested After Traffic Stop Reveals Two Stolen Cadillac Escalades
~Cadillac VINs were tampered with, swapped and cloned~
BROOKSVILE, Fla.- This week, while conducting enforcement efforts on I-75 IN Sumter County, Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Troopers conducted a traffic stop for excessive speed and a tag violation on a 2018 Cadillac Escalade.
The driver, Yajaira Martinez, 39, of Riverview, Florida, advised Troopers that she had no paperwork for the vehicle, and it had dealer plates attached. The vehicle identification number (VIN) on the front windshield did not appear professional and appeared to have been tampered with. After requesting to check the vehicle’s secondary VIN, it appeared to have been tampered with.
The dealer tag was checked and returned not assigned to the vehicle it was attached to. The VIN indicated it was assigned to a 2020 Cadillac Escalade, although the vehicle that Troopers had stopped was a 2018 Escalade. Both VIN decals had been swapped from the factory issue (2018 Cadillac Escalade) to reflect a 2020 Cadillac Escalade. A comparison of both VINs and the attached tag confirmed that the stopped vehicle was stolen from Pennsylvania.
After the driver consented to a search of the vehicle, materials that belonged to the original vehicle (2018 Cadillac) were found within it. Ms. Martinez then advised Troopers that she owned a car dealership in Tampa that had recently closed called Champa Bay Auto Brokers, first licensed in April 2022, and closed in April 2023.
Troopers continued their investigation by responding to the vicinity of the dealership, where they located a 2022 Cadillac Escalade that was confirmed to have been stolen from Clearwater, Florida, in June 2023 and had been “re-vinned.”
The driver, Yajaira Martinez was arrested and transported to Hernando County Jail on the following charges:
- Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle-1 count (Felony) F.S.S. 812.014.2c6
- Possess Vehicle with Altered Numbers-1 count (Felony) F.S.S.319.33.1d
This investigation remains active and ongoing. Additional information is not available at this time.
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