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WHITE SETTLEMENT (CBS11) – It’s something a lot of people do when shopping for new cars. But this past Sunday, it resulted in a White Settlement man being placed in handcuffs and threatened with arrest.
Chris and Ashley Lopez’s search for a new car led them to several closed dealerships where they walked the lots, including Cars 4 You, close to their White Settlement home.
“We have done this before and we just didn’t want to be bugged by any sales people,” said Ashley Lopez.
“I stepped over the bar then I noticed there’s a cop across the street,” said Chris Lopez. “He came toward me asked me what I was doing and I said I’m shopping for a vehicle.”
Within minutes Lopez was in handcuffs while his wife recorded video.
“He informed me that I was trespassing. He began to tell me that the owner of the car lot didn’t allow anybody after hours on the car lot,” said Chris Lopez.
White Settlement Police said Lopez was only detained because he didn’t produce an ID.
“He said he wasn’t leaving because it was a car lot. When you’re under investigation you have to identify yourself. They gave him several chances to ID himself, he refused,” said Sr. Cpl. Jason Carter of the White Settlement Police Department.
A man answering the phone at Cars 4 You said people are welcome on the lot after hours, but police tell CBS11 the owner approved a criminal trespass warning issued to Lopez.
Other North Texas dealers like Ray Huffines say it’s not the way they do business.
“We encourage people to come around without anybody here,” said Huffines. “We haven’t had any problems. If someone’s going to do something it’s usually gonna be at nighttime.”
Lopez wasn’t in handcuffs long. But long enough never to go car shopping again on a Sunday.
“Don’t do it. Be aware be educated on it,” said Lopez.
The dealership and police say there have recently been break-ins on the lot.
But this was 3:30 on a Sunday afternoon and Lopez was with his family.
He said he has been banned from the lot for a year.