LAS VEGAS – Investigators from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) have arrested two suspects involved in the possession of stolen vehicles and the forgery of temporary DMV placards. It is believed the suspects ultimately planned to sell the stolen vehicles using documentation that would seem legitimate.
Investigators arrested Roberto Caballero-Armas, 27, at his residence in Henderson on January 30, 2023. Caballero-Armas was charged with six felonies, including multiple counts of Possessing a Stolen Vehicle and Altering the Vehicle Identification Numbers.
The investigation began after Caballero-Armas allegedly attempted to title a stolen Jeep Trackhawk by concealing its vehicle identification number with a false one. Caballero-Armas told investigators he had purchased the vehicle through social media and was unaware that the vehicle had been stolen. Investigators seized the vehicle and a set of forged documents. They further discovered Caballero-Armas had been in possession of 2 additional stolen Jeep Trackhawks. One of the additional vehicles was recovered at an unlicensed garage named Limitless Performance in Las Vegas. The other has not been located.
The second suspect, Dominic Gutierrez of Henderson, 43, was arrested January 31 at an auto dealership where he was employed. Gutierrez allegedly used his employer’s access to DMV systems to issue false placards to himself and others, including Caballero-Armas. Those placards were used to conceal the title and registration status of various vehicles, including several that were stolen.
Gutierrez was charged with numerous crimes, including five felony counts of Forgery. Both men were booked into the Clark County Detention Center following their arrests.
“It’s likely these stolen vehicles were being prepped for sale to an unsuspecting buyer,” DMV Compliance Enforcement Division Chief J.D. Decker warned. “These scams are becoming more and more sophisticated, this time using an inside man to issue Nevada temporary registration placards. Vehicle buyers should be wary of paying cash, using social media to purchase a vehicle, temporary placards on private purchases, and always have a vehicle thoroughly inspected to identify fake, stolen, or switched VINs”.
DMV investigators teamed with Henderson Police and the National Insurance Crime Bureau in their investigation. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a fraudulent vehicle sales scam is urged to contact the DMV’s Compliance Enforcement Division at 702-486-8626 or dmv.nv.gov/ced.htm