VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Clark County has issued two new arrest warrants for a man accused of pretending to be a war hero to take advantage of classic car owners.
Josh Evans was supposed to go to trial October 7 but he did not show up for court.
Evans is accused of Theft by Deception for selling parts to a 1955 Dodge truck he was hired to restore. The owner of the truck, Bob Sorenson of Hillsboro was one of 8 people profiled in a 2016 KOIN 6 News investigation into Evans. After the story, Clark County prosecuted Evans for one of the cases. Evans pled guilty to theft and spent 4 months in jail.
The Clark County Prosecutor’s office has filed a second arrest warrant against Evans. In this case, another customer hired Evans to restore an International Scout. Investigators say Evans stripped parts from that vehicle.
That customer told investigators he has lost about $40,000.
KOIN 6 News investigative reporter Dan Tilkin confronted Evans in 2016 about his claims of being a war hero. Evans told Tilkin he was not a veteran.
“Just a guy who works on cars,” Evans said at that time.
Sorenson hoped authorities would have prosecuted Evans 3 years ago for what happened to the truck he had driven in high school. Recently, he told KOIN 6 News he is not surprised Evans did not show up for court last month after recalling confronting Evans in 2016 when he found his truck in pieces in the backyard of Evans’ Vancouver home.
“The arrogance of it was amazing. He laughed,” said Sorenson. “That skunk even went into my rebuilt engine and took out the internal parts of my engine.”
Evans went to jail for stealing from Carl Lange. Lange also has a court judgment against Evans for $52,000 for selling parts to Lange’s 1950 2-door Chevy Deluxe, instead of restoring it.
Lange is one of several veterans who told KOIN 6 News in 2016 that Evans passed himself off as a Special Forces Army veteran who was wounded in Iraq.
“Claims he was shot in his knee,” said Lange.
While Evans was in jail, Clark County Sheriff’s Detective Jon Shields continued investigating.
“I can find no record of him ever serving in the military,” Shields told KOIN 6 News.
The detective said 3 more victims came forward while Evans was in jail.
“In all three complaints each of the victims outline a pattern of lies where Evans portrays himself as a wounded US Army Combat Veteran garnering sympathy from them and other Veterans to hire him for work on their classic cars,” Shields wrote in a report.
“I found the Scout on an isolated piece of property in Cowlitz County. It had been completely stripped to the frame, motor and body,” wrote Shields. “All of the other known parts were placed in a shed nearby. When I sent photos of the car to the victim he was shocked.”
The detective also spoke with a Marine Corps veteran who let Evans stay at his Vancouver home after getting out of jail.
“Evans had left a bunch of personal stuff when he left, including a US Army Uniform,” wrote Shields.
The detective wrote the uniform had Evans name on it with tabs on the shoulders for Ranger and Airborne Special Forces.
The investigation is personal for Shields. His son, Andrew was killed while serving in the US Army in Afghanistan in 2008.
Attempts by KOIN 6 News to reach Evans by phone have not been successful.
In a July court hearing Evans’ lawyer told the judge he believes the charges in Sorenson’s case are past the statute of limitations.
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