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Customer crashes car during police pursuit, sticks dealership with the bill

Dealership owner: "We want him held accountable"
Fountain police chase
Posted at 3:38 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 08:55:43-05

PUEBLO — Every year, our News 5 Investigates team gets dozens of complaints against car dealerships from unhappy customers.

However, it's not too often you hear about a dealership getting ripped off by a car buyer.

Jonathan Ybarra
Jonathan Ybarra

A Pueblo mom-and-pop dealership says Jonathan Ybarra, 28, came into their dealership and bought a car---only to file a charge back several months later after he crashed it while taking police on a chase.

"It's been very hard to make ends meet especially through this pandemic," Neighborhood Auto Brokers Owner Ally Snyder said. "Every car sale that we make is keeping us afloat by keeping the bills paid and food on the table."

Ally Snyder, Owner of Neighborhood Auto Brokers
Ally Snyder, Owner of Neighborhood Auto Brokers

Snyder is upset at the justice system for not holding Ybarra accountable.

In June 2020, Snyder says Ybarra purchased a 2007 Grey Toyota Camry for just under $5,000.

Neighborhood Auto Brokers
Neighborhood Auto Brokers

Then in October, Snyder learned Ybarra filed a purchase dispute with his bank, claiming he never bought the vehicle knew nothing about it.

"The bank sided with their customer and the dispute was closed," Snyder said.

News 5 Investigates followed the paper trail and uncovered Ybarra's plan to defraud his bank and the car dealership.

"I want to show you a mugshot," Chief Investigative Reporter Eric Ross told Snyder. "Is this the man who came in here to the dealership and purchased the vehicle?"

"Yes," Snyder replied.

Ross asked, "You're 100-percent positive?"

"Yes," Snyder said. "I dealt with him directly."

Ross asked, "So there's no doubt about it?"

"No doubt," Snyder said. "100-percent it's him."

Fast forward to September 1, 2020, Fountain police are in pursuit of Ybarra's Toyota Camry.

The car crashes in a grass median and the driver takes off running.

Court records and body-worn camera video from officers identify the driver as Ybarra.

Ybarra following a police chase
Ybarra arrested by Fountain police after a brief chase

On video, you even hear Ybarra ask, "Where's my car going to go?"

The Toyota Camry Ybarra claims he didn't purchase or know anything about is captured on two different body-worn camera footage angles obtained by News 5.

Ybarra was arrested and charged by Fountain police with drug paraphernalia, eluding officers and a slew of other traffic offenses. Court documents show he ultimately accepted a plea deal in the case and spent a few months in jail.

Ybarra's car was damaged in the chase and taken to impound.

That's when Ybarra decided to dispute the car's purchase and wipe away his responsibility to pay for the vehicle.

"He waited almost 90 days to dispute the charge to get his money back," Snider said. "Now the car is wrecked. We can't get the car back and we can't get the money back."

A spokesperson for the Pueblo Police Department told News 5 that a fraud case involving Ybarra was sent over to the 10th Judicial District Attorney's Office in December 2020.

"The case is in my Office now, undergoing review by a senior attorney," Pueblo DA Jeff Chostner said in an email back in January.

At the time of publication, court records show no charges have been filed.

"I want Mr. Ybarra to be held accountable," Snyder said.

Court records show Ybarra currently has two other criminal cases going through the court system right now. The first case is for drug possession and the second is for aggravated motor vehicle theft stemming from a 2019 incident.

News 5 Investigates will follow up weekly with the DA's Office on a charging decision.

Timeline of events:

June 2020: Ybarra purchases a Toyota Camry from Neighborhood Auto Brokers in Pueblo

September 2020: Ybarra takes Fountain Police on a pursuit and is arrested for vehicular eluding, drugs and other traffic violations

October 2020: Ybarra files a dispute claiming he never purchased the car. The transaction is reversed.

December 2020: Pueblo PD turns investigation over to the 10th Judicial DA's Office for review

January 2020: Pueblo DA Jeff Chostner says the case is being reviewed by a senior attorney

March 2020: Court records show no new charges pertaining to this case

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