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Cops: Car dealer from Elgin stole customer IDs

Updated: March 2, 2013 11:34AM

CORTLAND — An Elgin man has been charged with scamming customers of a car dealership he owned in Cortland.

Terry L. Morrow Jr., 25, of the 1200 block of Christopher Court, was arrested Tuesday night by DeKalb County sheriff’s detectives on seven counts of identity theft.

According to DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott, county detectives had been investigating Morrow for some time but that Tuesday’s arrest took place when it did because Morrow showed signs of planning to flee the area.

Morrow operated a small used car dealership called Silver Star Motors in Cortland.

Scott said that according to investigators, Morrow would sell a car to someone with good credit and then use the customer’s financial information to take out a new loan in the customer’s name on a more expensive car that he bought himself.

“People found out when they started getting contacted about loans on vehicles that they hadn’t bought,” Scott said.

The sheriff said investigators believe Morrow operated a similar scam when he owned a car dealership in Missouri before moving to northern Illinois.

Scott said DeKalb County and Missouri detectives had been working together on the investigation.

But their hand was tipped, the sheriff said, when someone called the sheriff’s office at 10 p.m. Tuesday to report that all the for-sale cars had disappeared from Morrow’s lot and that a U-Haul truck was parked at the dealership. Morrow was arrested about a half hour later.

He has been charged with seven counts of identity theft, but Scott said he expects more charges to be levied in both Illinois and Missouri.

On Wednesday morning, a judge set Morrow’s bail at $750,000. Unable to post the required 10 percent bond, he was being held in the DeKalb County Jail on the charges.

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