Dallas Man Warns Public About ‘Guitar Bandit'

Twenty years ago, Cody Gleason got his hands on his first guitar, and from that moment on, he was hooked.

"When I pick it up and play it, it has its own voice," he said.

But not only does this Dallas man play the guitar, he buys sells and trades them on marketplace sites like Craigslist and Ebay.

"And then clean it up and put it back on the market," Gleason explained.

His hobby eventually matured into a side-job.

"I frequently post ads on Craigslist with my guitars and I'm opened to trades on lots of various items," he said.

Last November, he advertised his Gibson Les Paul guitar for $3,000, and a man named "Jason" responded, offering gold bullion.

"Having dealt with gold bullion in the past, I was fairly comfortable with accepting a trade like that," said Gleason. "We came to an agreement on the amount of bullion that was going to be traded for the guitar."

They agreed to meet at a Guitar Center parking lot in Dallas, but Gleason said the man was only available to meet after 7 p.m. 

"That was fine. There's a lot of lights in the parking lot. So, I felt comfortable with that," he said.

Gleason said he brought a magnet to test the gold and everything checked out.

"I was very comfortable with him in the situation. He sold me. I took it hook line and sinker," he explained.

The next day, Gleason said he took the bullion in to a gold and silver exchange to trade it in for cash.

"So, they were gone for about 2 minutes before they came back with a very somber look on their face. Zero for four. Zero bars for four were real gold.  I thought he was joking. I laughed. I seriously laughed until I realized that no one was joking and this was fake counterfeit bullion," said Gleason.

After receiving the bad news, he said he called Jason, who told him he had no idea what he was talking about and would call him back later.

But Gleason said never did.

"He's disappeared. He ghosted me," he said.

His number was blocked. So, the Dallas man went to the police. 

His case was eventually picked up by the Dallas County District Attorney's Office, and about a month later, the man whose real name is Gabriel Carter, was arrested on a felony theft charge.

A spokesperson with the DA's office wouldn't comment on the case, but court documents refer to Carter's actions as a scheme "by acquiring and exercising control over the said property…namely by deception."

Gleason said he's heard from other guitar traders who were ripped off by the same person but are too embarrassed to tell their stories.

"If I can do something to help other people not be susceptible to this kind of scam, that's what I'm going to do," he said.

We reached out to Gabriel Carter's attorney for comment but we have not heard back. He's expected to appear in court on April 24.

When buying, selling or trading items online, here are Samantha Chatman's Solutions: 

-When using sites like Craigslist, talk to the person on the phone.  If they're only willing to text or email you, that's a red flag.

-Consider meeting at a police station to conduct your transaction. If everything is on the up-and-up, the seller or buyer shouldn't have a problem with that.

-And last but not least, consider your safety. The consumer in this story met this person at night in a parking lot, which he admits, wasn't the safest scenario.

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