Auto Mechanic Scam NR09599gb

December 24, 2009

Los Angeles:  The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is asking for the public to come forward if they have been victimized or know anyone who has been victimized by a mobile auto mechanic known as Don Atkerson.  

During October 2009, Atkerson posted multiple advertisements on "Craigslist" claiming to be an Automobile Service Excellence (ASE) certified mobile mechanic in the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley areas with over 23 years of experience.  On the afternoon of October 27, 2009, Atkerson showed up to a victim’s residence in the 400 block of South Saint Andrews Place in the LAPD’s Olympic Area.  He inspected the victim’s vehicle and quoted an amount for repairs.  He then requested an advance cash payment for parts and gave the victim a handwritten receipt.  However, he did not return to complete the promised repairs, kept the advanced cash payment and deactivated his cell phone.  Atkerson waited a few days and then placed another similar advertisement with a different phone number.

Don Atkerson is the suspect’s true name.  He is a Caucasian male with brown hair and blue eyes.  He stands six feet tall and is 44 years old.  He has missing upper teeth.  Atkerson usually drives a gray or light blue colored four-door Sedan and is often accompanied by a white female and a small dog.  He was arrested on December 16, 2009, and is currently in custody. However, detectives believe there might be additional victims.

Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact Olympic Division burglary detectives at 213-382-9381.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877
LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters "LAPD." Tipsters may also go to, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.