SOUTH JORDAN — South Jordan police are investigating three brothers who have allegedly been buying older vehicles, rolling back the odometers, and then selling the cars for more than they're worth.
As of Wednesday the brothers had not been formally charged. But at least two of them were recently arrested after an undercover South Jordan officer purchased one of the cars that had the odometer tampered with, according to jail records and newly unsealed search warrants. Police say they know of at least two cases in their city and the Utah Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division, which investigators are working with, may have more.
On Dec. 15, a man purchased a 2007 Honda Odyssey from Steven Stone.
"(The man) stated the car had 125,985 miles on it when he purchased it. When he obtained the Carfax it showed the miles were last reported as 238,654," according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 3rd District Court.
On Dec. 31, another man bought a 2003 Honda Pilot in the same parking lot at The District — a collection of shops, restaurants and a movie theater near 3800 West and 11500 South — where the first victim had bought his car, the warrant states. The Honda's odometer showed the car had 134,000 miles, according to the warrant.
But when the man "took the vehicle to Jiffy Lube for the emission and inspection they entered the miles and their system stated that vehicle should have at least 167,000 miles," according to the warrant. That vehicle was also sold by Stone, the warrant states.
On Jan. 3, a South Jordan officer looking through the ads on KSL.com classifieds spotted a car for sale.
"The wording and the grammar used was very similar to other known ads placed by the Stone brothers. I pretended to be an interested buyer and set up a time and place to purchase a 2006 Nissan Altima," the officer wrote in the warrant.
The next day, Sammy Stone contacted the officer and said the Altima had already sold, but asked if he was interested in a 2003 Ford Taurus instead, according to the warrant. The officer said yes.
"When we met in the South Jordan Costco parking lot I eventually arrested Sammy and Steven. Sammy did not have a business license and he did not change the title from the previous owner's name to his name before the sale. In Sammy's hand bag were five different vehicle titles and $3,500 cash," according to the warrant.3 comments on this story
Steven Stone, 23, and Sammy H. Stone, 24, of South Jordan, were each arrested for investigation of unlawful sale of a vehicle, deceptive business practice and driving on a suspended license. According to Salt Lake County Jail documents, Steven Stone was acting as a "lookout" nearby while Sammy tried to sell the car.
Upon further investigation, the officer discovered that the Altima that had already sold had 123,000 miles on the odometer at the time of purchase, "but the last reported mileage was 225,000 by the previous owner," the warrant states.
South Jordan police on Wednesday said the two Stone brothers, plus a third brother, were all part of an active investigation.
Anyone who may have purchased a vehicle from the Stone brothers can call police at 801-254-4708 or 801-840-4000.