Santa Ana Police Department
Santa Ana Police Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division have arrested Michael Garduno, age 25, of Santa Ana, for Grand Theft. Detectives believe Garduno met victims after posting Craigslist ads offering to sell high end vehicles he didn’t actually own at a steep discount. In fact, the vehicles he offered for sale were owned by various local auto dealers and were for sale on their lots. The suspect convinced the victim he was authorized to sell the vehicles, collected cash from the victims, and then fled.
In one incident, the Audi South Coast dealership in the Santa Ana Auto Mall Drive had a 2013 Audi S5 for sale on their used car lot listed at $38,995. Garduno listed this same vehicle for sale on Craigslist for $9,000. The victim contacted Garduno and began corresponding via text message about the vehicle. Garduno claimed the Audi dealership was selling the vehicle for him on consignment.
On January 12, 2016, Garduno met the victim at the Auto Mall and instructed the victim to test drive the car with an Audi salesman but not to disclose that he was interested in buying it. After test driving the vehicle, the victim met Garduno at the Crevier BMW lot. Garduno was wearing a white polo shirt with a BMW logo. The victim handed Garduno $9,000 in cash and followed Garduno into the showroom. Once inside, Garduno ran from the victim and the victim discovered that Garduno was not affiliated with the dealership.
Detectives conducted follow up on various leads and identified Garduno as the suspect. In addition, they learned Garduno had been previously identified as the suspect in a similar theft in Newport Beach. In that case, Garduno stole $15,000 from a victim attempting to purchase another Audi.
Detectives received information that Garduno was living on West Oakfield Street in Santa Ana. On February 24, 2016 at 1130 hours, Santa Ana Police Burglary Detectives, with the assistance of OC Probation Officers arrested Garduno without incident.
Garduno was booked at the Santa Ana Jail on Grand Theft charges and a warrant from Newport Beach. His bail is set at $100,000.
Detectives have reason to believe there may be additional victims and are asking for anyone that may have been a victim to call the SAPD Detective Duane Greaver at 714-245-8362.