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Woman, 48, charged with pretending to be military service member, defrauding auto dealer

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Posted at 3:05 PM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-24 16:40:58-05

A 48-year-old Kissimmee woman has been arrested for pretending to be an active member of the military when she bought a new Dodge Ram pickup truck at a Davenport automobile dealership last year.

Vanessa Tesky had been sought on a Polk County arrest warrant in connection with a fraud investigation dating back to November.

Late last year Tesky went to the Posner Park Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership at 42650 Highway 27, Davenport, to buy a 2016 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.  During the transaction, Tesky provided personal information and stated she was a United States Air Force pilot, earning $7,000 a month. 

She identified herself with a U.S. Uniformed Services identification card and a Mississippi driver's license.

She agreed to make a large down payment for the Dodge because of her low credit score, a Polk sheriff's office statement said. Tesky also issued two checks from a closed USAA bank account. The sales price for the Dodge, including taxes and dealer fees, totaled $60,285.30.

Tesky returned to the dealership on Nov. 25 to pick up her Florida tag and wrote three more checks from the closed bank account totaling about $1,100 for truck accessories.

The dealership's efforts to recoup the Dodge or have Tesky appear for an interview with sheriff's officials were unsuccessful. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, Polk sheriff's detectives located Tesky in Osceola County.

At the time, she was in possession of a new Toyota, which authorities said Tesky told them she bought at Toyota of Central Florida in Orlando.  The Osceola County Sheriff's Office will follow-up with an investigation on that matter.  

During a recent interview with deputies, Tesky confirmed she was not in the Air Force, adding that she was a dependent of her ex-husband who is in the Air Force.

The sheriff's office did not provide any information to determine whether Tesky's husband is in the military.

Tesky was booked into the Osceola County Jail and will be transferred to the Polk County Jail at a later date. 

She was charged with fraud, soliciting funds/misrepresenting military, grand theft, uttering forged instrument, and obtaining vehicle by false pretenses.