Police: Man posing as NBA player drives off with dealership car

Kareem Hason Dotson
Kareem Hason Dotson

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Charleston man wanted by several police agencies for stealing cars after test driving them was captured Thursday night. Police say the suspect was involved in a string of car thefts last month including one where he passed himself off as a wealthy NBA player.

North Charleston police arrested 31-year-old Kareem Hason Dotson who was wanted on grand larceny charges and a probation violation.

On Friday, Dotson was given a $20,000 bond for two counts of financial transaction card fraud.

"He completed four years in the penitentiary and was supposed to be released to five years on probation," said Probation and Parole Agent in Charge Micky Talley. "We issued a warrant and we found out he never reported to probation."

Police say Dotson was involved in several crimes.

According to an affidavit, Dotson stole a wallet, containing the victim's driver's license and debit card, from a locker at a gym at the Naval Weapons Station on March 4. Authorities say he then used the victim's debit card at several retail locations at Northwoods Mall. He was captured on video tape making one of the illegal transactions, according to authorities.

A report from the Charleston Police Department states that Dotson later stole the keys to a 2006 Ford 150 pickup truck from a gym parking lot in West Ashley. The vehicle was later found to be occupied by Dotson in Norway, SC and he was arrested.

Parole agents were looking for Dotson and learned he was in the Orangeburg County jail.

"He had stolen a vehicle, he failed to stop for a blue light, he stole somebody's credit card and he is also wanted for identity fraud and credit card theft," Talley said.

Dotson posted a $100,000 and again failed to report to his probation agent.

Then on March 7, Charleston police say he stole a 2006 Dodge Charger while taking it for a test drive at a Sam Rittenberg Boulevard dealership. The car salesman told police that the suspect wanted to test drive the car, but because he didn't have any identification, he rode in the back seat.

At one point, both men got out of the car and the suspect then sat in the driver's seat to experience the car's features. Authorities say the suspect sat in the front for a brief period before shutting the door and driving off. The salesman told police the suspect called himself "Timothy."

On March 11, Charleston police were called to another West Ashley car dealership in reference to a pickup truck theft. The victim told authorities that he took a man out on the road to test drive a 2011 Ford F-150.

During the test drive, the suspect drove to the Citadel Mall with the salesman in the passenger seat. Upon arriving at the mall, the suspect told the salesman they should switch seats so the salesman could drive back to the dealership. The salesman got out of the vehicle while the offender stayed seated and then drove off in the vehicle.

The North Charleston Police department say that Dotson will also be charged for driving off with another vehicle on March 31, this time from a North Charleston car dealership. The victim told officers that the suspect told him that he had a lot of money and played in the NBA.

A police report states that after the suspect drove the vehicle, he pulled over at Rivers Avenue and Greenridge Road. Police say the suspect then told the victim that he would like to buy the vehicle and said he would like the salesman to drive the vehicle back.

According to investigators, as the victim was walking toward the rear of the vehicle, the suspect drove off.

Investigators say Dotson has more than 25 aliases, and that is one reason they had such a hard time finding him. Dotson was wanted by the Charleston, North Charleston and Goose Creek police departments.

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