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Man Finds His Stolen Truck on Craigslist

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on March 31, 2015 1:58 PM

Where do you sell stolen property? Do you fence it in a dark alley, sell it to your neighborhood thief, or try to hawk it at a pawnshop? Why not sell it on Craigslist?

A Texas salesman unwisely let a customer test drive a red Chevy Silverado alone. The thief was gone over half an hour. In that time, he must have made a key and key fob for the truck. When the salesman returned to his car lot the next morning, the truck was gone.

The salesman knew who stole the truck but had no way to find it. In comes his wife with the rescue. She searched trucks for sale on Craigslist and found it the very next day. Police caught the thief almost red handed. The thief spray painted the red car black. When he was arrested, he still had spray paint on his hands.

Be Careful Buying on Craigslist

Since the bad guy was arrested and no one was hurt, this is a funny story of a stupid criminal we can all laugh at. However, there is a very real danger in buying cars and other items on Craigslist.

At the very least, you may be buying stolen probably. A Mississippi woman bought a 2013 Toyota Camry for $11,000. When she went to register the car, she discovered that it was actually a stolen Hertz rental. Another man paid $13,000 for an Infinity G37. The title documents and the bill of sale he received were very good fakes, but fake all the same. These people lost their money and their cars. While the thieves technically owe them the purchase price, how likely is it that those thieves will still have the money to pay?

At worst, you could be going to meet your killer. In one case, an ill-fated husband and his wife wanted to buy a Mustang Convertible. They drove three hours to a small farm town to meet the seller. Later, police found the couple lying near their car, both shot in the head.

Buy at a Craigslist Safe Zone

Recognizing the hazards surrounding a Craigslist purchase, many police stations have set up Craigslist safe zones. These are usually in police lobbies, during office hours, and police parking lots, after working hours. These areas often have good lighting and security cameras to help protect not just the buyer but also the seller.

Craigslist is a great marketplace, but just be sure to take steps to protect yourself when buying from Craigslist. Also, if you ever have a bike, pet, laptop, or car stolen, keep an eye out, you might find it for sale on Craigslist.

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