Wednesday, February 13, 2013 started out like any other day at Gridley Country Ford but by 10:30 a.m., it was definitely a day that owner Curt Engen won't want to relive. It was at this time that Engen's son Curtis observed a couple driving through the back lot of the business which in itself was unusual, but things would soon turn unreal after Curtis offered his help.
The couple, arriving in a silver Ford Mustang showed interest in a red 2012 Mustang and the couple went with Engen for a test drive. Before leaving, Engen gave his father the man's drivers license to copy for him.
Instinct played a major part of this scenario for both Engen men. Thinking that something felt wierd, Curt ran the VIN of the Ford Mustang left behind but while waiting to hear back from the Fresno dealership that was listed as the owner, Curt's son and the couple returned from the test drive.
"They were only gone about four minutes, to Ord Ranch Road and back, but it seemed like a lot longer," stated the grateful father.
While meeting in the showroom to exchange information, Alfredo A. Bueno, 37, flashed a wad of cash for a down payment and then ran out to ask his girlfriend their new address and did not return. Curtis immediately noticed that the key Bueno had handed back was not the same key he had been given for the test drive.
In the meantime, the Fresno based dealership called back to say that unbeknownst to them, a car had been stolen from their lot. For the rest of this story, please pick up a 2/20/13 edition of The Gridley Herald.