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Elgin area used car dealers charged with stealing customer IDs

Updated: April 4, 2013 6:39AM

SYCAMORE — Two used-car dealers who live in Elgin but did business in Cortland in DeKalb County have been charged with using customers’ financial information to take out auto loans in the customers’ names on car sales that never actually took place.

DeKalb County Chief Deputy Sheriff Gary Dumdie said Friday that Eric M. Wrigley, 29, of the 1200 block of Christopher Court in Elgin, was arrested on Feb. 22 in suburban Prospect Heights. He is charged with eight counts of identity theft. Wrigley was held in Cook County Jail until he was transferred Thursday to the DeKalb County Jail, where he was being held Friday in lieu of $350,000 bail.

That follows the arrest on Jan. 29 of Terry L. Morrow, Jr., 25, of the same Elgin address. Morrow has been charged with seven counts of identity theft and seven counts of theft by deception. But Dumdie said detectives will be seeking to indict him on a total of about 30 charges.

Morrow was being held in the DeKalb County Jail in lieu of $750,000 bail.

The alleged frauds happened while Morrow and Wrigley operated the Silver Star Motors dealership in Cortland. Dumdie said county detectives began investigating when Silver Star customers complained about credit records showing car loans they never took out. When someone noticed on Jan. 29 that the cars on Silver Star’s lot had disappeared and a U-Haul truck was parked out front, detectives closed in.

Morrow was arrested that night but Wrigley was not found until Feb. 22.

Morrow faces similar charges in Missouri, where he reportedly operated a car dealership in Independence, Mo. between January 2011 and January 2012, then moved that dealership to Blue Springs, Mo. for several months before moving to Illinois. The Missouri State Attorney General’s Office announced recently that Morrow is believed to have taken out $1,032,000 in fraudulent car loans there, in the names of 44 customers. He is charged in Missouri with seven counts of unlawful merchandising practices, seven counts of forgery and two counts of ID theft.

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