Craigslist is a pretty great place to find inexpensive, jalop-worthy cars. The not-so great thing about Craigslist is all the scammers trying to sell you a car that doesn't exist. A Houston police task-force managed to nab one of these scammers with an undercover sting operation.
As part of a "Watch Your Car" month initiative by the Texas Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority (ABTPA), 29 task forces from various police departments work to prevent vehicle thefts and scams. Detectives from the Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force responded to a Craigslist ad regarding a vehicle and arranged to have the seller meet with undercover officers.
The officers discovered that the VIN on the vehicle in question was changed and replaced with a different one. That is when they arrested and charged 24-year-old Houston woman, Dyanna Meza with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
The allegedly stolen vehicle was taken by the Task Force to a be returned to its rightful owner. Often these criminals don't get caught and it is up to the buyers to stay vigilant. The Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force reminded shoppers of some common sense advice.
"Anyone planning to make a purchase from a private individual, from an ad on the internet, newspaper or other publication should check the vehicle and documents very carefully. Make sure that the title is an original and that the VIN matches the one on the title. Buyers may wish consider conducting the transaction at the local tax office as they will have all the necessary paperwork and notaries to complete the transaction."
(Image Credit: Messenger-News.com)
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