(WICHITA, Kan.)—FactFinder 12 Investigators talked to seven people who say they were scammed by the same man on Craigslist.
The victims all posted ads selling vehicles on Craigslist, and were contacted by Robert Janzen. Jansen doesn’t appear to do anything to hide his identity.
He agrees to buy cars and motorcycles, convinces the sellers to give him the vehicle without payment, and then never returns.
“He gave me his driver’s license, phone numbers, social security number and addresses,” says Kim Pata.
Pata sold her 1980 Blazer to Janzen. She was never paid, but later found her vehicle. The tires, wheels, and other valuable parts were gone.
“He strips the good stuff off them and leaves them,” says Pata.
In every case Janzen leaves copies of aKansas I-D, his Social Security card, and signs a written contract.
“He keeps promising he's going to bring it (payment), but he never shows up. He's always got an excuse,” says Michael McDonald who contacted FactFinder 12.
McDonald sold Janzen a pickup and mini-bike, but was never paid. He found his truck, but it too was stripped of parts.
FactFinder 12 was unable to locate Jansen, and voicemails left on his phone were not returned.
Our investigation, however, led to a south Wichita home where we found two untagged cars in the street.
One of them belongs to Clarence and Eleanore Myers in Newton.
“It makes me want to cry that I trusted this man,” says Clarence.
We led the Myers to their Cadillac where they called police and hired a tow truck to return it to their home. It was missing the air conditioner and battery.
“When I found out about the elderly people he ripped off it became really personal,” says McDonald referring to the Myers' case.
All the victims partly blame themselves for trusting the man’s story.
Derby police presented a case to the district attorney's office, but say the office declined to prosecute.
Police in Wichita and Newton are now investigating.
The Newton police chief says his office will pursue charges including theft by deception.