Woman accused of pretending to be customer, then stealing Jeep off Puyallup dealership lot

The owner of a car dealership in Puyallup says a brazen car thief pretended to be a customer and then swiped a vehicle right off the sales lot on Jan. 24.

Video shows dealership owner Scott Tanner sitting with a woman he thought was a customer looking to buy a car. She was in the office of Tanner Motorsports on a busy Friday afternoon, and Tanner says she took advantage of that to take off with a car.

The video shows the woman pushing for a vehicle, and Tanner says that he tried to oblige but told her after a credit check that they probably wouldn’t be able to sell her a car that day.

That’s when she allegedly took matters into her own hands. Surveillance video from outside shows the woman looking at a Jeep.

“This young lady had been walking by outside Canyon Road for the last few weeks, and she needed a car,” Tanner said. “Apparently, she got paid yesterday from Amazon. She came in with a check, next thing you know, my customer saw on the video camera screens and said, ‘Your green Jeep just pulled out.’”

Tanner said he’s heard of vehicles being stolen off lots during off-hours, but someone coming to his lot in the middle of the day and just driving off is a new situation for him.

He’s also surprised that the woman didn’t try to hide herself at all during the process. He’s been in touch with Pierce County sheriff’s deputies who told him this has happened at other dealerships, too.

“The rash of theft is people coming in at night, finding a key box that’s on display, they get the keys, and they get out,” Tanner said. “Well, this is something that I’ve heard of it happening, but when it happens to you, you can’t believe it.”

On Tuesday, the woman agreed to return the car to the dealership, according to a Facebook post shared by Tanner.

Tanner said the woman’s family saw KIRO 7′s story and shared it with her on social media, pressuring her to return the Jeep.

On Tuesday morning, the vehicle was returned to the lot, but the woman was gone. According to Tanner, the car had been driven more than 600 miles over the weekend, but it was still in good shape.

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