Updated:ATLANTA — The next time a stranger offers to help fix your car you could be looking at the person who caused the problem.
Police say someone is disconnecting car cables once you park and when you can't get your car to move -- that same person comes to the rescue.
"Forty - 50 seconds he was under there, talking some talk, you know?" said Ray Bernal.
Bernal told Channel 2's Jovita Moore he was almost scammed in Ansley Mall's parking lot.
"Then he said ‘try it.' It didn't work. He said ‘Oh I know what it is. Get up underneath the car.' 30 seconds. Boom! It was done," said Bernal.
Bernal says his Tahoe wouldn't move into gear after he cranked it.
A man offered help claiming to be a 'retired mechanic from Cuba.
"He pulls out this little metal clip. He says ‘Bend this for me.' I'm thinking what is that? Oh, that's the safety for your transmission cable. I'm thinking, OK, something's not right here," said Bernal.
Rick Gonzales at Jim Ellis Chevrolet told Moore they see this often.
"Literally, they can crawl right under the vehicle, within two seconds snap the cable loose," said Ellis. "Now when the person comes back they can pull it into gear and have no response from the transmission."
Ellis said, "Eventually they work their way underneath and say ‘let me look underneath' and when they do they basically putting it right back in, snapping it on and now they have fixed the vehicle."
Gonzales says that's the scam.
Your fake mechanic disconnected the cable in the first place.
Bernal wants others to be warned.
"I've never been taken. So I was feeling like a big sucker right at that moment," said Bernal.
Atlanta police say they saw several cases of this last fall.