Skip to main content

COVID-19 Updates

Vaccine and Booster Information

Warrant Issued for Suspect Committing Dent Repair Scam in Bethesda Area Parking Lots

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 16, 2021

What is the Dent Repair Scam?

During the dent repair scam, the suspect will approach a person who has damage to his/her vehicle.  The suspect will state that he is a professional auto body repairer and state that for a fee, which is often significantly less than a reputable repairer will charge, he can fix the damage.  He says he can repair the damages right away and on-the-spot with tools he has with him.  The suspect will pretend to fix the vehicle but often will not fix it all or leave it more damaged than before.

The Investigation

In January 2021, 2nd District officers began investigating reports of a dent repair scammer who was operating in commercial parking lots in the Bethesda area.  People that the suspect had approached or who had been a victim of the suspect’s fraud began sharing their stories and photographs of the suspect on social media, and in turn, the Police Department was notified.

2nd District Patrol Investigations Unit detectives, through investigation, identified the suspect as Archie Valdo Thompson, age 33, of an unknown address.  During these incidents, Thompson was driving a white pickup truck.  Detectives applied for and were granted a warrant for Thompson’s arrest for offenses to include multiple counts of theft and malicious destruction of property, as well as violation of County Code for operating a motor vehicle repair business without a license.  

Detectives have identified four victims of Thompson’s scam.  These known incidents occurred in July and October 2020 in commercial parking lots in Bethesda.  In total, Thompson collected approximately $1,850 from these victims.  Victims described Thompson as intimidating and two victims reported that when Thompson was done with the “repairs," he demanded more money than the initial prices he quoted them. Witnesses stated that Thompson would often get angry and annoyed if they declined his services.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Archie Thompson is asked to call 2nd District Patrol Investigations Unit detectives at: 240-773-6726.  If you believe you are a victim of Thompson’s fraud and have not yet reported the incident to police, please call detectives at: 240-773-6726.

Archie ThompsonArchie Thompson (Original Image)

Archie ThompsonArchie Thompson (Original Image)


# # #

Release ID: 21-067
Media Contact: Sergeant Rebecca Innocenti 
Categories: scam