Test ride ends with salesman left in lurch

'Honest customer' now a suspected car thief at large

KIRBY, Texas – Twelve minutes caught on surveillance video is all it took for a suspected car thief to size up the inventory at a used car lot, saying he only had $5,000 to spend on a white 2008 Honda Accord coupe before taking a test ride with a salesman last Wednesday.

“At that point, I’m thinking he’s an honest customer. I think his situation is genuine,” said Daniel Ruff, co-owner of South Texas American Auto.

Ruff said the man told him he was recently divorced, so the price was right for the Accord he wanted.

Ruff said the suspect even checked out the vehicle.

“Popping the trunk, doing what customers do, their due diligence,” Ruff said.

Ruff said he made the mistake of not asking for the man’s ID, so he could make a copy since salesman Brian Knights was going with him on the test ride.

“Brian was like, 'I’m going to lock this deal up,‘” Ruff said.

Knights said instead of a great deal, it was a car salesman’s worst nightmare.