San Leandro police Lt. Pete Ballew called it a variation on the old "rocks in a box" scam, in which a box is presented as containing new, expensive electronics for sale but is actually full of rocks.
On Wednesday San Leandro police pulled over a man who had in his car a box containing what appeared to be an expensive 37-inch flat-screen television, but in actuality was a glass oven door cleverly disguised as a TV. The man is suspected of trying to sell the item for $100 in the parking lot of the San Lorenzo Wal-Mart, 15555 Hesperian Blvd.
"It was very ingenious," Ballew said. "If you were a bargain hunter, you might think, 'Wow, this is the deal of the day.'"‰"
Police got an anonymous call Wednesday from someone who raised suspicions about a man who tried to sell him a television out of his beige 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass in the Wal-Mart parking lot. The witness said the seller told him he had bought the TV for $60 at a flea market.
Later, Sgt. Luis Torres stopped the Cutlass after spotting it driving through San Leandro. The driver, Anthony Myles, 52, of Richmond, was arrested for driving on a suspended license. No charges were filed against Myles' passenger, a 53-year-old man.
The television in question was in the back of the car wrapped in packaging material. It had installation instructions on the back, a Best Buy price sticker for $1,949 and accompanying electric cables. Police confiscated the item, but no charges were filed in relation to its attempted sale.