A Hempfield man had a $206K luxury SUV delivered to his home last week but paid for it with a bad check, state police said.
Jordan C. Steward, 22, of Arona Road in Hempfield, was arrested Sunday and charged with receiving stolen property, theft by deception and writing bad checks in connection with the incident.
Steward had a 2021 Mercedes Benz G-series luxury SUV delivered from an Ohio car dealership to his home via car carrier about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Trooper Ralph Dietz alleged in court documents.
After learning later that day that the check was written from a bank account with insufficient funds, officials from Volkswagen of Streetsboro, Ohio, immediately sent a tow truck driver back to Steward’s home to retrieve the vehicle, but it was not there, according to court documents.
Volkswagen officials then reported the vehicle as stolen to the Streetsboro police department. The town is about 34 miles southeast of Cleveland.
Dietz said he was able to contact Steward later in the day. He claimed he was acting as a on behalf of a surgeon at UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Oakland by the name of “Dr. Andrew Valasky.”
Steward claimed “Valasky had the vehicle delivered to (his) residence as a favor because Valasky was unable to get away from work to have the vehicle delivered to his residence. (Steward) said he could not understand what happened,” Dietz said.
Steward claimed he paid for the vehicle with a check that “Dr. Valasky” gave him in an envelope.
Dietz said he looked over the paperwork forwarded him by the dealership. It was completed by Steward in his own name and the check was written by Steward in his own name. He telephoned UPMC, and was informed that no one named “Dr. Valasky” is employed there.
A tow truck driver, meanwhile, reported that Steward had relinquished possession of the SUV to him at a parking garage at UPMC Presbyterian Thursday evening.
The next day, Dietz again contacted Steward and admitted the “inconsistencies” in his statements to Dietz the day before. Dietz reported that Steward also admitted “he has never had $205,877 in his bank account.”
Steward was arrested Sunday and ordered held in the county prison after failing to post $25,000 bond. Online court records show he posted the bond from a bail bondsman and was released Monday afternoon.
Reached by telephone, Steward declined comment. A manager at Volkswagen of Streetsboro also declined comment.
A hearing is scheduled Dec. 2.