Alleged Craigslist scam victim gets surprise donation

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by Meredith Yeomans

azfamily.com

Posted on April 20, 2010 at 9:40 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 22 at 2:20 PM

QUEEN CREEK - 39-year-old Joel McCallister now rents a home in Queen Creek.

3 On Your Side found out he'd moved there after we reported on accusations he was scamming people through Craigslist.

Joshua Babetz is one of those alleged victims.

Babetz paid McCallister $7,000 for the white Ford pick-up back in January.

But according to the MVD, McCallister forged the title documents leaving Babetz without his money and without his truck.

“I'm expecting a baby on the way and this was the last money I had to buy myself a truck to start working again,” Babetz said.

Teri and Michael Scott say they were in a similar situation, and recognized McCallister from our previous report because they'd bought a $2,200 Ford Mustang from him.

“But when I went to get a title for it I found out the car was not in his name,” Michael Scott continued, “didn't think he'd do this especially since I knew where he lived.”

Until a couple months ago, McCallister lived in Gilbert, in a home he's accused of running a chop shop out of.

3 On Your Side tracked McCallister to his new home in Queen Creek on Monday, but his son was the only one there.

“Does he know that we've been looking into him?” our 3 On Your Side producer asked.

“Yeah,” McCallister’s son said.

Turns out, minutes earlier, McCallister was arrested by investigators with the MVD, charged with 15 felony counts of theft and forgery.

So, where does this leave his alleged victims?

“Wow, it's beautiful,” Babetz said standing in his driveway.

After our story aired, another 3TV viewer came forward to give him a work van for free!

“It's not the greatest one but it still runs good,” viewer Ognjen Zdrale said. “Here you go,” he continued as he handed over the keys.

“Thanks a lot, god bless you,” Babetz said. “Thank you very much. All I have to say is that I'm amazed that there's still wonderful people out there that are willing to do something nice in times like this.”

Babetz plans on using it to haul all of his flooring equipment around so his business can continue to grow, along with his family.

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