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How one criminal foiled his own plot to steal a vehicle from a L - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

How one criminal foiled his own plot to steal a vehicle from a Lompoc dealership

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He may have actually escaped had he not made the mistake of gloating.

Cameron Jacob Walden, 28, was bold to have walked into the Toyota of Lompoc dealership pretending to be someone else on Monday.

Walden went as far as bringing the necessary documents to purchase a brand new vehicle, all under another person's identity.

"Driver's license, cred application, insurance, everything checked out and we had a red bow on the truck and a picture with him and he was on his way," said sales manager Gavin Burkard.

Before he drove into the sunset, Walden agreed to take a photo of his new "purchase." With a thumbs up and a grin, the photo proved to be his undoing.

The identity theft victim, who lived in 2,700 miles away after recently moving to Florida from Orcutt, noticed his credit report was accessed. He immediately called the dealership to explain the fraud.

Toyota of Lompoc contacted a private investigator, Gold Coast Investigations, which moved quickly to locate Walden, who continued using the victim's identity for other purchases.

"That led to a lot of information that opened the doors and from there we continued to do what we do, putting pressure where it needs to be," said private investigator Joe Stetz.

Walden dumped the vehicle in Maricopa, spraying WD-40 to cover up his fingerprints. But WD-40 doesn't wipe away photos on the internet.

"If he didn't do some of the things he did, he might have got away with it," said Stetz.

As for the pickup, it will be repaired, detailed, and maybe given a new, lower price.

"Oh, I'm sure. Always a good deal," said Burkhard.

Walden remains on the loose tonight but Stetz says that won't last long.

Websites like Experian can alert you if your information becomes compromised.

Related content:
Lompoc police searching for man accused of using stolen identity to buy new truck

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