SOUTH PITTSBURG, MARION COUNTY (WRCB) - An Ohio man used the site Craigslist to meet people in South Pittsburg wanting to sell motorcycle and a four wheeler. The way the suspect did it was tricky, but police say if the victims hadn't been so trustworthy, this may have been avoided.
Investigators found the suspect with stolen goods in Alabama, but he fled to Ohio. He's now in an Ohio jail.
"He seemed very sincere about getting his family and kids here, I was actually proud of him," Starlet Batrec says she had no idea her future brother-in-law from Ohio was ripping people off in our area.
Police say it started on August 21st when Phillip Faulkner responded to a Craigslist ad to buy a dirt bike, he asked the seller to meet him in South Pittsburg for a test drive.
South Pittsburg Police officer Nathan Billingsworth said, "the suspect got on the motorcycle, tells them he wants to test drive it, goes up the road out of sight and they never saw him again."
Six days later, another Craigslist victim files a police report. Police say Faulkner asked a Hixson man to bring his four wheeler to Dixie Road in South Pittsburg. Faulkner again asked for a test drive, and again drove away without returning.
Billingsworth says the first red flag was that Faulkner called from a blocked phone number.
"Number two, you need to get some sort of ID or something from them, before you let them get on your vehicle for a test drive," said Officer Billingsworth
A few leads later police say they learned where Faulkner was hiding the stolen goods, because he also tried to trade a flatbed truck on Craigslist.
Officers found that same truck on Craigslist, which led them here to Aldhouse Road in Bridgeport, Alabama.
"We saw the stolen four wheeler, and when we got out of the vehicle, he ran out the back door and evaded us, and we couldn't find him," said Officer Billingsworth
Faulkner fled to Ohio, where he was picked up for breaking parole and drug trafficking. He was staying at his girlfriend's sister's house in hopes of finding a job.
Batrec added, "the whole thing just blew up in my face. I'm really upset about it because I tried to help him and help my sister and help her get down here with the kids so we can be a family."