Used Car Fraud Suspect Arrested

August 5, 2003

Los Angeles: On July 29, 2003, after a three year investigation, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Commercial Crimes Division Detectives arrested 58 year-old Rudolph Eberhard Bartsch, a resident of Los Angeles, for three counts of Grand Theft.
Bartsch purchased high mileage used vehicles, typically Mercedes and Volvos, and then would roll back the odometers. He then placed three-line advertisements in the Los Angeles times Classified Section for these vehicles as the original owner and the odometer reading as the original miles. Bartsch poses as an airline pilot or a doctor of Cardiology to prospective buyers. He met with several buyers at Saint Vincent’s Hospital located at 3rd Street and Alvarado Street.
Bartsch has also used several German sounding names other than his own name. He is currently in custody with a bail amount of $180,000.00. Several additional victims have yet to be interviewed and it is anticipated that numerous additional counts of Grand Theft will be filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Any additional victims or anyone with information should contact Detective Bob Marsh, Commercial Crimes Division, at 213-763-5115. On weekends or during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk, 1-877-LAWFULL, 1-877-529-3855.
This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.