Dealership bilked out of $42K vehicle | News, Sports, Jobs


A Brooklyn, Pa., man is facing theft charges after police say he provided false information to purchase a vehicle at Blue Knob Auto Sales and, using the same information, attempted to purchase a second vehicle.

David Lobzhanidze, 31, faces felony counts of identity theft, theft by deception, theft of unlawful taking of movable property and related charges.

Allegheny Township police responded to the dealership March 22 for the report of a fraud-related case in which the manager and a sales associate said it appeared the dealership was scammed by someone who purchased a vehicle from them and then was approved for a second loan days later.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, the dealership received a call March 11 from a man by the name “Harry Lee,” who wanted to purchase a 2020 Toyota Highlander. The man completed the online credit application and was approved through Fifth Third Bank, court documents state.

The man sent a copy of his license and insurance card to continue the electronic signing process, and the title was sent to a New York address. “Harry Lee” was to take the title to the DMV to have the title work completed and send a copy of the registration to the dealership, but once “Harry Lee” sent the registration back, it appeared to be fake, court documents state.

The dealership began looking at “Harry Lee’s” photo on the license that was sent and the male pictured looked to be in his 20s, but the date of birth was listed as Sept. 29, 1943, police said.

At that point, the first vehicle for which a loan was applied had already been picked up on

March 18 by a courier, the report states.

Using the Social Security number and license information provided by the dealership, police found a Harry Lee in Idaho who matched the birth date and information on the identification cards. In addition, a search for the Highlander showed it was still registered to Blue Knob Auto. Police also contacted the insurance company provided when the vehicle was purchased and found out the policy did not exist.

The vehicle was valued at $42,594.64, police reported.

Court records do not indicate whether the vehicle has been recovered.

On March 24, it was reported that the same male going by “Harry Lee” had been approved for a second vehicle and was sending a driver to pick up a 2020 Lexus RX valued at $47,998.

Police were called when Lobzhanidze arrived to pick up the vehicle just before noon on March 30.

He told police he was picking up the vehicle for a friend, but police noted he was operating a Ford Expedition displaying a New Jersey dealer registration and towing a trailer displaying a temporary tag from Delaware that was not numbered or displaying any business or courier service.

Lobzhanidze was ar­­raigned Wednesday before Magisterial District Judge Matthew Dunio. Unable to post $100,000 cash bail, he was remanded to the Blair County Prison.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 7 before Dunio.

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