fbpx

Gainesville man arrested on warrant for stealing car and altering the VIN; investigation points to his involvement in multiple financial scams

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

ALACHUA, Fla. – Masud D’Andre Headen, 29, was pulled over for speeding last night in Alachua and found to have an outstanding warrant for stealing a Land Rover and altering the VIN. The arrest report also points to evidence that Headen was involved in multiple financial scams.

A Florida Highway Patrol Trooper pulled Headen over on U.S. Hwy 441 in Alachua last night for traveling 63 mph in a 45 mph zone. The trooper learned that Headen’s driver’s license was suspended and that he has three prior convictions for driving with a suspended license. The trooper also learned that Headen was wanted on a felony warrant and arrested him.

In March of 2022, a Gainesville Police Department Officer responded to a child abuse investigation, and a witness, who had been in a relationship with Headen for three years, said there was a stolen Land Rover in her garage and she “want[ed] it gone.” She reportedly told the officer that Headen takes stolen vehicles and switches out the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) and has a number of tags registered under different names. She reportedly said she had “a bunch” of different vehicles registered under her name because of this scheme. She also reportedly said that Headen doesn’t get oil changes on his cars because there are different VINs on the vehicle, and if someone looks up one of the VINs, it will show stolen parts.

The officer reportedly found two different VINs on the Land Rover; one had no title registered, and one did not come back to any vehicle or title but matched a vehicle registration under the name of the witness.

During the investigation, Headen returned to the residence and was found to have the car keys on him. He was arrested in connection with the child abuse investigation, but those charges were later dropped.

Post Miranda, Headen reportedly said the Land Rover belonged to his sister and that she let him borrow it. He denied switching out any of the VINs.

The Land Rover was towed and later searched. An officer learned that neither of the VINs had ever been created; he was unable to find a physical VIN (besides the two fraudulent VINs already found) in the car but was able to turn on the car and retrieve the VIN from the car’s computer. That VIN showed that the car had been reported stolen from a car rental agency in Miami. The car had originally been black but had an “unprofessional” wrap that changed the color to gunmetal gray.

The officer spoke to an investigator at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and she said that the two fraudulent VINs had been applied for and added to the registrations for newly-purchased vehicles by a dealership in Opa-locka, Florida. The dealership has since been closed by DHSMV.

Headen reportedly gave consent to search his phones, and the officer reportedly found communications in which Headen said he had bought the Land Rover for $20,000 and had paid $5,000 to get it registered; he also discussed how he had to change the color of the car to match the purchased registration.

The officer also found communications on the phones “involving a myriad of frauds.” He obtained a new search warrant and found information about Headen purchasing personal banking information for other people and selling it to others. There were reportedly communications about selling cloned credit cards, fake checks with real account information, and fake money orders.

The officer reportedly found “dozens” of communications in which Headen tells others how to access the stolen bank account information and engage in a scam called “card cracking,” along with “conversations about how easy it is to make money doing these scams.”

Headen is currently charged with driving without a valid license, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and possessing a vehicle with altered VINs. The warrant recommends bond of $50,000.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • I wish these troopers would visit our neighborhood. There they would find most people traveling 55 in a 35. But sadly, they and the SO are never around.

  • I don’t agree with crime and I certainly don’t favor criminals. But he is at least an intelligent offender.

  • >