Detroit firefighter's family say they were scammed by phony ex-car salesman

A Detroit firefighter and his wife were scammed out of tens of thousands of dollars by a sketchy used car salesman FOX 2 first told you about last week.

Despite a gut feeling something was up, David Munroe's family knew Ricardo Perez, and bought cars from him when he worked at Dick Scott, a dealership in Plymouth.

"$21,150 dollars," said Rachael Munrow, adding it is one year's salary for her. "He came in my home and I said to him, looked at him, and said to him please do not take this money and screw me over. It took me a long time to save." 

So when firefighter David Munroe needed a new car when he returned from deployment with the National Guard, they called Perez.  

"He’s like 'No, I’m going to intercept it from the dealer type of thing and give you this deal and the dealer would sell at a way higher price,'" Rachael said. 

They and 40 other victims had no idea Perez got fired from Dick Scott last summer and was posing as a salesman ever since to allegedly run an elaborate scheme.

Police say he offered lease pull-aheads, or to take an old ride off someone’s hands, and get them into something new. 

Instead of meeting at the dealership – he used being Covid-safe to his advantage, meeting customers in parking lots to make the exchange - and stealing the cars and their money.  

"He did seem like a genuine person, a nice person," Racheal said. "He had a family, he seemed like a family guy." 

First they sent Ricardo Perez $3,600 for a new truck.  While Perez allegedly stalled on getting them that, he gave them a rental - that he offered to Rachael for a good price, but would only accept cash. It was a red flag, but he worked them over into paying more than $17,000.  

"He was sitting there playing with my 1-year-old daughter telling me about his little girl, saying 'Oh you’re so cute,' knowing we just gave him this much money and his plan was to just walk out and scam up," Rachael said. 

More Coverage: At least 30 Metro Detroit victims targeted by fired car salesman in elaborate scam to return leased cars

When they heard Perez was arrested this month, they filed a report with Lincoln Park police - and the car – they thought they bought, was seized. 

Rachael says the worst part is she feels like she let her kids down. 

"I’m just going to work more and now I’m losing time with them to try and make up that money," she said. "My husband is doing overtimes. I don’t think I’ll ever see it again, unfortunately."  

Perez was originally fired from Dick Scott for suspected theft and fraud. More victims of his latest scheme are coming in every day. If you think you’re one of them, contact your local police department.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family. Click or tap here for details.

The Munroe family.

The Munroe family.