Thanks to tips from readers of The Examiner, U.S. marshals on Wednesday arrested a convicted con man who had duped numerous car dealers into letting him run off with their high-end vehicles.
Along the way, from Georgia to Maryland, Clifton Clayton had left a lot of angry victims in his wake, authorities said.
When Clayton was featured as a Most Wanted criminal two weeks ago, the phones started ringing at the U.S. Marshals Service.
“Apparently, he aggravated a lot of people,” said Matt Burke, supervisory inspector with the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force.
“We got a great response from readers of The Examiner. With that information, we were able to develop his location.”
The calls led authorities to Prince George’s County, then to Capitol Heights.
While marshals staked out a home on the 6500 block of Walker Mill Road on Wednesday morning, the 34-year-old Clayton came out and began washing a shiny new Mercedes-Benz.
Police said the luxury car wasn’t Clayton’s, but it hasn’t been reported stolen.
When the marshals arrested Clayton, he gave them a new name, one that he had never used before, Burke said.
He also provided authorities with false identification.
“But we already knew who he was,” Burke said.
Clayton has a long criminal history of arrests on charges of fraud, identity theft, bad checks, assault and auto theft.
He used fake IDs to pose as a prospective buyer of expensive cars, and has driven off with a Cadillac Escalade in Fairfax County, a 2008 Corvette in Laurel and a BMW from Prince George’s County, police said. Since 2007, he has been suspected in similar thefts in D.C., Prince William County, Arlington and Alexandria, police said.
Clayton had been on the run since last year, Burke said. He was taken to Montgomery County to answer charges out of Rockville.