1 wobbly wheel scam suspect in custody, another on run, constable says
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – To say Sam Vanbibber's art car is an eye-catcher would an understatement.
"I’ve driven art cars for years. I’ve been in the art car community since it started," she said.
Vanbibber's car recently caught the attention of criminals whom authorities said were part of a wobbly wheel scam.
"He was like, 'Your tire is about to fall off,' and he was just pointing and pointing, and I was like, 'What?'” Vanbibber said.
“Clearly, these are criminals, and clearly they were trying to harm, potentially harm her,” Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen said.
Investigators said Guliano Thompson and his brother, Speed Thompson, flagged down Vanbibber last weekend claiming her tire was about to fall off.
After she pulled over, authorities said one of the men got in her vehicle.
“The one that was in the car drove the car up a bit ... demonstrated to her that they fixed the problem. So, then, of course, they wanted money for fixing the problem," Rosen said.
Instead of going to the bank as the brothers demanded, Vanbibber said she pulled into a parking lot and yelled for help.
The men took off, but not before she said they stole hundreds of dollars from her purse.
"At that point, I was already onto them. I knew something was wrong, but I was scared to death,” Vanbibber said.
With the help of social media, authorities later found the pair.
Although Speed Thompson was taken to jail and booked, Guliano Thompson claimed to need medical attention and was taken to a hospital.
Authorities said Guliano Thompson then left the hospital and didn’t show up for a court date. They said he is on the run.
Authorities also believe Nick Stanley is involved in the scam. Authorities are looking for him.
"We have a conscience, you know. We wouldn’t hurt another person, but you just don’t know. Criminals, you know, don’t have any conscience,” Vanbibber said.
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