Bad Car Deal Almost Went Up In Flames

SPOKANE VALLEY — Fake credit cards, false claims of car wrecks and a vehicle rigged to explode. A plot line for a bad movie? No, just a car sale gone bad in Spokane Valley.

Town and Country Used Cars owner Gene Hess says that on June 16th a customer came in to test drive a Dodge Durango. The man – Danny – told the dealership that he liked the car but needed to show the vehicle to his wife.

“He asked me if he could test drive the car and show it to his wife,” Hess recalled.

Hess told Danny to take the car home and take his time with the decision. Danny returned, saying that his wife liked the Durango and he signed the paperwork to purchase the SUV for the grand total of $11,013.56.

And then things went south. “Danny” said he needed to go get a cashier’s check for the payment but Gene Hess never got the check. What he did get instead was story after story. First Danny’s wife was in wreck, then she was in the hospital and then he couldn’t bring the check to the car dealership.

“That’s when I called the hospitals and never was an accident with his wife in it,” Hess said.

Danny even went as far as to give the car dealership a bogus credit card number. Then Danny stopped returning phone calls by the dealership calling to ask for their unpaid-for SUV back. Concerned about the vehicle, Hess called the police and reported the vehicle stolen.

Then Danny finally called the dealership and said he didn’t want the vehicle after all and wanted to return it. Town and Country made arrangements to pick the vehicle up at a designated location.

When they went to pick up the vehicle Gene Hess noticed a hose was running from the gas tank down to the brake pads and fuel was pouring out of the hose onto the brakes.

“He has this thing rigged on the brakes so it would ignite the gas and perhaps hurt or kill somebody,” Hess said.

Now, while the Spokane Valley Police Department says it’s investigating the incident, that potential buyer – Danny – has vanished. No one can locate him, leaving Gene Hess, who has sold cars for nearly four decades, wondering “what the heck is going on here?”