LASD issues six steps on how to not buy a stolen vehicle

Deputy inspects car in connection with Burglary Ring bust. photo courtesy SCV Sheriff's Station.

Before buying a used car, there’s several red flags to consider before making that final decision. The car may be used, but it could very well be stolen too.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department unveiled six warnings before buying a used car, according to a news release.

The following tips are designed to prevent new car owners from becoming victims:

  1. If a car has a convenient or very decent price tag, there’s room for concern. A car thief will sell a car at a lower price to encourage buyers and get rid of the car as soon as possible.
  2. Buying any car means the vehicle comes with two sets of keys or key fobs. Be wary if the seller only has one set of keys that belong to the vehicle.
  3. Keep safety in mind. When meeting a car seller, always have someone else come along. Also consider if the seller will meet at a safe location, otherwise reconsider the purchase altogether.
  4. After stealing a car, the thief will replace the vehicle identification number with that of another vehicle, re-registering it with the Department of Motor Vehicles. When buying a used car, check to see if the registration papers are recent or duplicated and ask why. Check if the seller has an ID card which matches the name on the paperwork. If this is not the case, walk away from the purchase.
  5. Keep all advertising for and other documents of the vehicle and its owner. These will be clues for law enforcement if it is unable to locate the seller after completing a purchase.
  6. Always check the VIN before purchasing the car. Do not only rely on a vehicle history report, as that may have altered information.

If there are any concerns with buying a used vehicle, contact the Taskforce for Regional Autotheft Prevention, or TRAP, at (213) 847-3788.

The above information was obtained by The Signal via a news release provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Information Bureau.

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