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Michigan teen out thousands after unknowingly buying stolen car on Craigslist

Posted at 3:28 PM, Jul 31, 2018

A Ypsilanti teen says he worked hard to buy the car of his dreams, only to find out the car he had bought from a man on Craigslist was registered as stolen. 

Daniel O’Bryan has been balancing high school and his job at a grocery store for the past two years. He saved up enough money to buy a 2008 Trail Blazer from a man on Craigslist. 

O’Bryan and his family thought through their research. 

“My husband checked all three spots on the car to make sure the VIN number matched with the title that the gentleman had, and everything came back fine there were no red flags or anything,” O’Bryan’s mother, Kathy O’Bryan said.

It was not until they had taken the car to the Michigan Secretary of State that they found out the car was listed as stolen. 

The rightful owner of the car is Sal’s Auto Parts out of Detroit. The owner said he lent the car to a business partner at M&G Repair, and the car was stolen outside the workers' Allen Park home. 

“Probably the most hurtful part was seeing my car being towed away and I didn’t even get to drive it yet,” O’Bryan said. 

O'Bryan says the man who sold him the car is not returning his calls. 

A spokesperson for the Michigan Secretary of State provided these tips for buying a car offline: 

  • Exchange money at a police station so there are nearby cameras to ID the seller
  • The buyer and sell should both go to Secretary of State to get a new title
  • Check the seller's ID and compare it to the title

For more tips from the Secretary of State, click here