Overly Long 'Test Drive' Gets Man Arrested
Lloyd Kraft took Ford F-250 for a spin ... didn't come back: police
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2013 8:13 AM CDT
We know this is not a key to a 1997 Ford. It's the best stock art could do.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It's kind of like that episode of Seinfeld, just with a less glorious ending. Police say a Florida man visited Belleview's Prestige Auto on Friday with a fairly typical request: He wanted to test drive a 1997 Ford F-250. Lloyd Kraft reportedly ponied up a phone number and copy of his driver's license before being handed the keys. The 67-year-old then set off, with an employee following him, in the Ocala Star-Banner's telling, "all over" the county—but at some point, the employee got separated from Kraft.

After three hours, the employee realized Kraft probably didn't just stop off at a mechanic to have the car checked out—suspicions that were likely compounded by the fact that the phone number Kraft produced didn't work. When police found Kraft, he had an easy explanation: He was just using the truck for work. Indeed, police found tools and two-by-fours in the truck's bed. Kraft told a Star-Banner reporter it was "a honest misunderstanding": He says he told the employee he'd have the truck for a while, and he just forgot some of his phone number's digits. Apparently the fact that he put $10 of gas into the truck wasn't enough to buy him mercy; he was charged with grand theft auto.

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Jun 3, 2013 11:39 PM CDT
On the other side of the coin, I scheduled a test drive with a car I saw advertised on the Bob Moore Northwest web site. The description read, "Our mechanics have gone over this with meticulous care and have determined it passes all the high standards Bob Moore puts into its used car fleet. This car is fully prepped and cleaned for you to take delivery today.' So I get to the dealership and met the salesman. He grabs the key for the golf cart and we head to the back lot where it is waiting for my test drive. First I notice it has the doughnut on. The rear tire is laying in the back with a huge screw in the side wall. Then I get in and there is trash on the floors. The salesman says, "No problem, they'll clean it up before you drive it away." I start it up and right away a blast of cigarette smoke comes out of the a/c vents. Not all the gauges work which is kind of big with me. We head down the street for the test drive and every time we turn left, there is a thump and the car bobs like a fishing bobber. We go over a bump in the road, and its like a coin operated bucking horse. The salesman says, "Oh, that's just a new shock job, you can do that for next to nothing." We turn on the a/c and it never gets cold. We finally get the piece of junk back to Bob Moore's back lot and he says, "Well, you should snatch this one up before someone steal it off the lot." I tell him, "Well you need to lower it from $4500 to more like $2000 before I buy it." He says, "No way they will do that, it books for $3500. I say, "How would someone buy a $3500 piece of junk for $4500?" He says, "That's not my deal. Thanks for coming in, check back with us if you see another car online that you like." Needless to say, I did not buy a car from Bob Moore. I went to Kansas and bought a truck for $1100 that runs great and gets good mileage and is an nice vehicle. I bought it from Mid States Auto Sales in Wichita.
Jun 3, 2013 12:00 PM CDT
On the other hand, if he had signed the papers and it blew up 100 yards off the lot, he'd be SOL.
Jun 3, 2013 10:17 AM CDT
Meh, Some people are just more thorough than others in testing out products they may purchase. How was he really supposed to know if the truck would work for him unless he exhaustively test it out?