This week’s lesson in what not to do when stealing a car is courtesy of Marquis Whipple from Riviera Beach, Florida. Whipple stole Tom Funicello’s (no relation to Annette, as far as we know) 1998 Toyota Camry from his home. Two weeks later Whipple called Funicello and tried to sell it back to him… for $200. Yes, this is a real story. I’m not that creative of a person to make up this kind of stuff.
Funicello was shocked that Whipple would call him, but he agreed to buy his car back because he needed his car. It’s not quite clear why Whipple would make such a dumb move. Funicello said, “He probably realized he couldn’t sell it, so he thought he would just sell it back to me.”
Whipple thought that he was being a “Good Samaritan” for trying to sell it back to Funicello. So let’s get this straight – he thought he was doing a good deed by selling someone’s property back to them after they stole it. He’s dumber than I thought.
Despite that, Funicello decided to meet Whipple to buy the car. Whipple was a little cautious about meeting Funicello thinking that he was “setting him up.” After a handful of phone calls, Funicello earned his trust and met him… and then he got busted.
As soon as Funicello got the first phone call from Whipple offering to sell him his car back, he called the cops and they set up a bust. The cops were in an unmarked car at the gasoline station where the big exchange was going to happen. When the car was sold back, they arrested Whipple.
Even though the car was returned with a smashed in back window, a jammed ignition and a damaged engine, Funicello said he was just glad to have his car back. This Funicello guy is probably the most positive guy ever.