Warrants reveal what police uncovered in odometer tampering investigation
Search warrants obtained by Target 2 Investigates reveal new information about a complex car fraud investigation in Northeast Wisconsin.
Two men are accused of selling used vehicles with forged titles and altered odometers. In some cases, the odometers were rolled back. In other vehicles, they were replaced altogether.
Police say this happened over the past year at several locations in Wisconsin.
On June 3, Green Bay Police executed three search warrants and arrested Robert Solberg, 34, and Joshua Taylor, 37. The warrants were served at Solberg's home, Taylor's home, and a storage facility on Green Bay's east side.
More than 40 pages of search warrants shed new light on the investigation. It started with one victim noticing handwriting on his vehicle's title. The case took off from there.
Warrants reveal that during searches of three properties, police seized six vehicles, phones, keys, titles, more than $4,000 in cash, and an odometer cluster--a tool used to alter mileage on a vehicle.
Officers also found multiple odometers. One was in a cardboard box. It had been shipped to Robert Solberg, warrants show.
The investigation started in March 2019. An odometer fraud investigator from the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles called Green Bay Police. The DMV needed help "with a report of title fraud and odometer tampering."
A Brown County man had reported buying a GMC Yukon for $4,100 on Craigslist. He said he made the purchase from a man he didn't know. He thought "the handwritten mileage on the title appeared forged from 214,450 miles to 114,459 miles."
The odometer read the lower mileage, but was displaying an error code. He suspected some had "tampered with" it.
Police tracked down the original owner, who informed them that he had sold it days earlier--at nearly half the price. He said the vehicle had twice as many miles on it when he sold it.
The victim's family started searching Craigslist and found more cars from the seller. There were listings around the state.
Police found another victim from Green Bay. He had purchased a vehicle that showed 114,000 miles on the odometer. However, he learned the vehicle's real mileage was 300,000.
One witness told police "4-5 odometers [were] being shipped to [Solberg's] house each week," according to warrants. The documents state that Joshua Taylor bought the "odometer tool off eBay for $4,000."
Police uncovered a voicemail from an Appleton store that had informed Solberg, "the odometer cluster he ordered was in stock."
The warrants indicate Solberg would find vehicles on Craigslist and Taylor would roll back the miles. They split the profit 50-50, documents show.
Police have referred counts of theft and forgery to the Brown County District Attorney's Office. No charges have been filed as of this publication. The investigation continues.
Joshua Taylor is being held in the Brown County Jail on a probation violation.
Robert Solberg has been released from jail.
Since our initial Target 2 Investigates story aired June 4, police have received numerous calls from other victims. They believe there are many more out there. If you believe you're a victim, contact your local law enforcement agency.
"If you are a Green Bay resident or this occurred in the City of Green Bay, we certainly want to know about it because they were doing it in Marinette County, Wausau," Green Bay Police Lt. Ben Allen says. "If this occurred where a purchase was made in another jurisdiction, we definitely encourage them to contact their local agency and we'll try to coordinate with them."