Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rhode Island man’s eBay transaction spurs Basehor probe

October 25, 2007

A sketchy eBay transaction has pushed a 48-year-old Rhode Island man to request a police investigation in Basehor.

Basehor Police Chief Terry Horner said the man, from Warwick, R.I., contacted him recently because a 28-year-old Basehor man did not follow through on his end of a guitar bargain.

In early September, the man agreed through the online auction site to purchase a guitar from the Basehor man for nearly $1,650, Horner said. The Rhode Island man sent the check but never received the guitar.

Horner contacted the suspect's mother, who lives in Basehor, about the incident. She knew her son was attempting to sell the guitar, but was unaware he had not sent out the merchandise.

The suspect's name is Martin Lewis Mootz III, whom Horner said already is wanted by Basehor Police on bench warrants for on two separate cases -- one for failure to pay fines on expired tags and driving with a suspended license and a second one for driving with a suspended license.

Regarding the eBay incident, Horner said he would be requesting a felony theft warrant from Leavenworth County Attorney Frank Kohl.

When selling or buying on eBay, the company requires security information. Mootz used his mother's credit card as security, which she was aware of, Horner said.

Mootz's mother has since contacted eBay and let them know that, although her credit card was used, she was not involved.

Horner said this investigation is the first he's ever known regarding eBay, which he said has strict regulations for purchasing through its site.

"Here's a prime example where you think everything is secure and a guy sends a cashier's check to the city of Basehor," Horner said, "and five weeks later is asking for police intervention all the way from Rhode Island to solve how things went wrong on this end of the eBay deal.

"I guess you're never safe when you're purchasing things."

Anyone with information regarding Mootz's whereabouts is asked to contact Horner at the police department, 724-1370, ext. 25.

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