Vail Valley man gets justice three years later
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –When Vail Valley, Colorado resident Jonathan Levine lost almost $1,000 to an eBay scam nearly three years ago, he kissed the money good-bye and took it as a lesson learned.
Levine, of Edwards, got a call two weeks ago from the district attorney’s office – they wanted to know where to mail his restitution check, he said.
“You can’t get away with a crime and run anymore – you will get caught,” Levine said.
Levine had gone back and forth with the Avon Police Department leading up to the crime. Levine was arrested for unrelated crimes and charges that were later dismissed.
When the eBay scam happened, Levine sat down with Avon Police Officer Jeremy Arndt, who Levine said put in a tremendous amount of time and energy into investigating the case.
Arndt was able to get a warrant for the man Levine thought scammed him – a New York man who apparently ripped off several other people, too.
Levine, who owns Hummers of Vail, a luxury taxi cab company in the valley, went on eBay to order some electronics for a Hummer. He paid $949 via Paypal, an online payment process, but never received what he ordered.
Levine had a funny feeling about the transaction after he made it, though, because he had run a successful business through eBay for years selling computer parts, he said.
Levine said he just knew something was off, so he gathered as much personal information about the user he was buying from just in time – the user deleted personal profile information soon after.
Levine had a name, Anthony Grochowski, and a phony phone number and e-mail address, and Arndt was able to gather enough evidence to get a warrant for his arrest.
“Officer Arndt of the Avon Police Department dedicated a lot of investigative time into this case, which included writing search warrants for business on the other side of the country,” said Brian Kozak, Avon’s police chief. “I am glad that the effort paid off almost three years later, resulting in restitution for Mr. Levine.”
Levine was shocked the money was recovered, and said Arndt was the reason the case never died. While the money will just go toward bills, he’s happy he got some justice – even if it took three years.
“I never expected the money back,” Levine said. “Jeremy (Arndt) took all the time and energy in the world to learn everything (about the case) and get a warrant.”
Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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