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Dealer facing charges of odometer tampering

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 27, 2000

CLEARWATER -- A Clearwater auto dealer was arrested Monday on multiple charges of rolling back car odometers.

Dell M. Chandler, 58, of 1321 Belleview Blvd. was charged with 17 counts of odometer fraud. He was being held at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $170,000 bail.

Pinellas County sheriff's Sgt. Greg Tita said Chandler owns and operates Car Laundry at 1715 Coachman Plaza Drive.

Sheriff's detective Ken Luth began investigating Chandler after a customer complained in May. She traded in her 1988 Lincoln Town Car when she bought a 1995 Mercury Grand Prix from Chandler.

Tita said the customer stopped by and looked at the Lincoln later when it was for sale and noticed that the odometer reading was 74,000. The mileage was 126,000 when she traded it.

The odometer on the Mercury the woman bought also had been tampered with, Tita said. It had been rolled back from 99,000 to 42,000 miles, he said.

Other charges involving other cars were based on documents and information from previous owners. Anyone who has bought a car from Chandler is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 582-6424.

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