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Two Virginia men arrested in Westminster, charged with vehicle theft

Bright Boateng
Bright Boateng

Two Virginia men have been arrested in Westminster and charged with vehicle and identify theft.

Bright Boateng, 39, of Fairfax, is charged with one count each of identity theft of a value of $100,000 or more and the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, both of which are felonies, according to electronic court records. Daniel Owusu, 53, Herndon, is charged with one felony count of the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.

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On April 21, Maryland State Police responded to the Toyota of Southern Maryland dealership in Lexington Park for a report of a theft, according to charging documents. Police met with the manager who told police on April 13 they were first contacted through their website by a man looking to purchase a 2020 Toyota Highlander.

This man, using an assumed name, police allege was actually Boateng.

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The dealership let the man know he had to talk to the Toyota financial department to get approved for a loan, and when he was, on April 17, the dealership called the man, walked him through the process and completed the purchase, financing $59,737.76, according to charging documents. In the process, the man emailed the dealership a signed copy of the contract along with a copy of his Texas driver’s license.

The man asked the dealership to drive the newly purchased vehicle to an address on the 1100 block of Marianna Ave., Westminster, according to charging documents, and an employee met with the man at that address on April 18 to get his signature and hand over the keys and the vehicle.

The dealership manager became suspicious however, when on April 20, the man called back to inquire about purchasing a 2020 Tundra, according to charging documents, wondering why the man hadn’t mentioned wanting to purchase the second vehicle just days before. The dealership then contacted Toyota’s fraud detection unit and the state police.

The investigation revealed that the man’s Texas driver’s license was fraudulent, but that the name and address did correspond with a real man, living at that address in Texas, according to charging documents. This man was white, and the man in the driver’s license photo sent to the dealership, and the man the dealer’s employee saw when he dropped the Toyota Highlander off in Westminster, was black.

Police informed the Texas man that his identity had been stolen.

The dealership then allowed the purchase of the Toyota Tundra to go through, and on April 24, the vehicle to be driven to the address requested by man who would soon be identified as Boateng, the Royal Farms at 1818 Baltimore Boulevard, according to charging documents. Police lay in wait, as Boateng arrived in the previously delivered Toyota Highlander, riding passenger while another man drove the vehicle.

Once Boateng signed the paperwork for the receipt of the Tundra, police surrounded the vehicle and arrested both men, according to charging documents.

The driver was identified by his driver’s license as Owusu, while Boateng identified himself but was initially uncooperative in providing his home address to police, according to charging documents. Boateng was allegedly found to posses a fake New Jersey driver’s license with his picture on it in addition to the fake Texas license he had used to purchase the vehicles, as well several credit cards that did not belong to him.

Daniel Owusu
Daniel Owusu

Owusu told investigators that he had ridden with Boateng to pick up the Highlander on April 18, but said he did not know the vehicle was stolen, according to charging documents. He allegedly told investigators he believed Boateng was shipping the vehicles out of the country.

Boateng and Owusu were arrested and taken to Carroll County Central Booking, the latter being released the same day on a $20,000 unsecured bond, according to electronic court records. Boateng, meanwhile, was released on April 25 after posting $500 cash bail, 10% of his $5,000 percentage bond. Both Boateng and Owusu are next due in Carroll County District Court on Aug. 4 for a trial.

There are no attorneys for either man on record as of May 5, and no phone number on record to follow up for a comment.

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