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Online car for sale sold, then stolen back by sellers

July 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A woman's car was stolen just hours after she bought it. She found the car for sale online, drove it home and woke up to find it gone. Police say she's the victim of a very avoidable crime.

The deal was for a 2009 gray Honda Civic. The buyer, an 18-year-old female from Palm Springs, found it on Craigslist and drove to Burbank Saturday with more than $10,000 in cash to make the purchase.

Police say the exchange happened at a CVS parking lot in Burbank, and that the female suspect spent well more than an hour with the victim talking about the car. She even gave the victim the title to the car but that paperwork turned out to be fraudulent.

When the woman reported the car stolen, Burbank Police suspected she had been the victim of fraud. Detectives contacted the same two people who allegedly sold her the car, 18-year-old Kayla Pouncy and 30-year-old Jose Madrigal, setting up a sting operation to buy the Honda in the Craigslist ad.

Police say within hours the suspects showed up with the same car and were taken into custody.

"The scam is they go around selling this car continuously and either knowing where the victim lives and going back to the location with a key and taking that car back from them," said Ryburn.

Police remind people to be careful when buying anything online.

Some tips for buying a car online:

- Never give out your home address, whether you're the buyer or seller

- Meet at a DMV to verify ownership and documents

- Take a friend with you or tell someone what you're doing and where you'll be.

"We see it quite often, not just Craigslist," said Ryburn. "You always want to ensure your safety first and foremost, but also the safety of your property by ensuring you're buying it in a proper manner that everybody can use."


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