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I think I may have found my stolen car on craigslist

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Posted over 2 years ago

 

 Long story short, my car was stolen and throughout the course of the day looking for a new car I have found a car that looks shockingly like my own.  When I say shockingly I mean paint coming off on same areas as mine, same missing "features", same mileage, obviously same model, tires, color, etc.  There are a few differences, but if these guys are pros (stolen in one city post on CL in another the next day) they are going to know what to change out, and since my car was reported stolen they are also going to swap out the vin numbers.  That being said, where else would I find the vin numbers on the car other than on the dash.  I know there is one on the door, but an intelligent thief would swap that out as well.


Basically, I want to go other there take a look at the car to verify it is the stolen one, but have solid proof that it was indeed mine so I could have the police do thier thing.


Any suggestions guys?

Radio2_max50

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Rated +2 | Posted over 2 years ago

 

 First of all.. Welcome to PoliceLink. 


Second this is a Law Enforcement Community..


Third.. Call your local police. They might be able to help you get you car back, if you reported it stolen. DO NOT attempt to get the car  yourself. That is a good way to get yourself killed. CALL YOUR LOCAL POLICE !!!!!!!! LET THEM HANDLE IT !!!!!


 


"Ladies and Gentlemen, take my advice. Pull down your pants and slide on the ice."~~~~ Allan Arbus, (MASH, Sidney Freedman)

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati..... When All Else Fails, Play Dead~~~ Red Green....

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FireDad says ...



 First of all.. Welcome to PoliceLink. 


Second this is a Law Enforcement Community..


Third.. Call your local police. They might be able to help you get you car back, if you reported it stolen. DO NOT attempt to get the car  yourself. That is a good way to get yourself killed. CALL YOUR LOCAL POLICE !!!!!!!! LET THEM HANDLE IT !!!!!


 


Thank you for the welcome, and thank you for the advice.  On that, I would under no circumstances try to be a hero and get my car back, and I have already reported my car as stolen to the proper authorities.  Now, my big fear is that there will be little drive to either go to another city or get that areas law enforcement involved because "some guy thinks he sees his stolen car on craigslist in your city", so without some sort of proof and I am afraid the burden may fall upon me to find proof.  If this car is indeed mine, I have the suspicion that the VIN numbers will not match were I to dig hard enough, so that being said either I, or a hard charging detective would have to investigate that possibility.


I would love to think that some fine detective out there would be willing to convince that person to see if he could check those VIN numbers, but due to the amount of work on thier hands I am afraid they have more pressing concerns, although I could be wrong.  I will contact my local police again tomorrow to give them the info I have found, but time is not on my side on this, you know?  Someone else will buy that car, and it will disappear.


Had I comprehensive insurance this wouldn't be a big deal as I could file a claim and be good, but I do not, and NOW it is also a matter of principle; I hate stinking thieves!  Every day it is listed is another day I may not get my car back.  Let me tell you what, buying a new/used car is EXPENSIVE right now, especially used!  it's damn near highway robbery.


Thank you again folks.


25-1-13-a_1__max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

You don't give your local police a lot of credit when you say that your "big fear is that there will be little drive to either go to another city or get that areas law enforcement involved because some guy sees his stolen car on Craigslist."  You do not say what kind of car it is (make/model/year) and vin location varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and from model to model vehicle and sometimes from year to year.  You also do not say where you are located and how big or small your local police department is.


You need to call them anyways and report the tip.  They may be more interested than you think as there may be more vehicles than just yours for sale.  They know that Craigslist is loaded with crooks trying to sell stolen goods or pretend to purchase stolen goods only to rob an unsuspecting seller.  If you have photographs of your car that can provide enough documented proof or reasonable suspicion that the car that was stolen matches the car seen on CL, they might be able to set up a buy / sting.  You may also ask if there is a countywide stolen vehicle task force.  Either way, I agree with FireDad......  Call your local police and do not attempt to go there even to obtain more evidence that the car is yours as you might be recognized as the actual owner by those attempting to sell the vehicle and end up getting hurt or killed.

Csi_squirrle_max600_1__max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 2 years ago

 

First of immediatly report this to the agency who took the stolen car report.  Print a copy of the listing and take it with you.  If you have pictures of your car that support your beliefs take them with you as well.  DO NOT go look at the car yourself.  Once you do that the seller may pick up on your nervousness.  This can #1 put you in extreme danger, and #2 cause them to make the car disappear for good.  As far as your "bid fear" that the police won't move on the information.  What do you base that on?  What normally happens in these cases, yes we've seen this before, is the reporting agency calls the jurisdiction where the car is and they will go out and check it.  Yes there are secret areas the vin is stamped.  They are specific to the year make/model of vehicle.  And no the police won't tell you where to look because these areas are, well, secret.

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

 You folks bring up good points, off to the PD I go.

1979_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Darn, that should be a no brainer. The PD will contact the PD that has jurisdiction where the suspected vehicle is at and they will go check it out. You can change the Vin # but changing the engine # is harder and changing the VIN # that is on the frame and other locations is much, much harder. If it is in fact your vehicle then they will be able to tell and they will arrest these people.


 

White_shirt_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

The light bulb should have gone off. If you would have given this some thought you would have figured it out.

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Rated -1 | Posted over 2 years ago

 

uncledennis1 says ...



The light bulb should have gone off. If you would have given this some thought you would have figured it out.


 


Actually, I did and the worst case scenario occurred.  I contacted the local PD and they transferred me to the stolen auto department.  When I talked to a detective she told me that I need to verify that the car is mine before they will investigate it, so that means if the person will not give me the VIN, which now he isn't, I have to go there and get it myself.  So sadly, I need to do the legwork before they will sweep in and make an arrest.


This doesn't please me.  I had hoped for more, but got what I expected.  :(


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Rated -1 | Posted over 2 years ago

 

 Errr...frustrating update.  I know, stupid civilian that doesn't know how the system works.  So I again contacted the PD in my area and the department that does stolen autos is apparently part of the traffic division and they are only open Monday through Friday, so they suggest call back than.  I than called the PD of the city where the car is and they told me that they wouldn't help me, that my PD would have to teletype the info to them and than and only than would they send a squad car or detective to investigate it.  Essentially I was told that I would need to go to that city and get that VIN myself. (I am being vague for reason as if the perp is suspicious and googles key words it would pop up.) That being said my particular department has a "reknown" for dropping the ball on certain things that I will not get into as I don't want to come acrossed as an attack on all LEOs, even though many LEOs I have talked to have a wide disdain for this particular PD.  I'm rambling.


 


Anyways, I'm frustrated, my car could be sitting right out in the open, time is ticking away and if it is sold than it is gone forever and I feel as though nbody in law enforcement cares even in the slightest.  I'm trying hard not to let this bad taste in my mouth get to me, but it is really hard guys.


Anyways, thanks for your tireless work.  I know there are so many LEO that want to and try to make a difference, it's just that the common man like myself see only what we preceieve, a giant, uncaring bureaucracy. :(  


 

Quickley-b240_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Call the County Sheriff or State Police with your info and by the was I don't believe that any LEO would give you the location(s) of hidden VINs


"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, do nothing." Dante

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Bluejersey_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Why not you or someone else buy the car back. 


 Identifying Vins and the place of purchase I think would practically put the nail in the Coffin for the Theives, No?  If the area is bad or your instincts tell you that's not the best of ideas, have them drive the vehicle to a persons house you know b/c there's a chance they might know you. 


Have People there who can identify your car as well as a Mechanic who can match Vins not seen by the average human eye. (I have an Idea where they are but would not disclose that here) Have someone stall, Call the Squadies. A whoot whoot  and have camera ready for that Epic WTF moment on the sellers face.oror and possibly a face.


 Legally, you can still claim the loss on your Insurance Policy, and are entitled to those monies towards the purchase of another car wether it happened to be yours in the past or not.


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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

springfieldXDM38 says ...



 Errr...frustrating update.  I know, stupid civilian that doesn't know how the system works.  So I again contacted the PD in my area and the department that does stolen autos is apparently part of the traffic division and they are only open Monday through Friday, so they suggest call back than.  I than called the PD of the city where the car is and they told me that they wouldn't help me, that my PD would have to teletype the info to them and than and only than would they send a squad car or detective to investigate it.  Essentially I was told that I would need to go to that city and get that VIN myself. (I am being vague for reason as if the perp is suspicious and googles key words it would pop up.) That being said my particular department has a "reknown" for dropping the ball on certain things that I will not get into as I don't want to come acrossed as an attack on all LEOs, even though many LEOs I have talked to have a wide disdain for this particular PD.  I'm rambling.


 


Anyways, I'm frustrated, my car could be sitting right out in the open, time is ticking away and if it is sold than it is gone forever and I feel as though nbody in law enforcement cares even in the slightest.  I'm trying hard not to let this bad taste in my mouth get to me, but it is really hard guys.


Anyways, thanks for your tireless work.  I know there are so many LEO that want to and try to make a difference, it's just that the common man like myself see only what we preceieve, a giant, uncaring bureaucracy. :(  


 


 


The common man like yourself doesn't understand terms like probable cause, due process, or priority. You have no idea what other things the department is working on. What you gave them is "it's possible that my stolen car is on craigslist, but i'm not 100 percent sure if it is my car or not." If you can't identify you're own car for sure by a photo, than it will be pretty difficult for an officer to side-step a person's constitutional rights and do what you want him to do. You said that you don't want to make it seem like you are attacking LE, but that's how I took your post. People make rash judgments about police officers not doing their jobs without knowing the hoops we have to jump through and how every decision we make is scrutinized by the public.


You also are coming on here and making your very first posts as a complete stranger, asking us to help you. We don't know you. We don't know who you are. It is possible that you stole the car and are trying to find all of the VIN numbers so you can erase any hope of identifying a vehicle. How are we supposed to know? For this one.....you are going to have to get help from your local resources. For the long term.....hang around the site a bit. Build some credibility with the members here, and we may be more inclined to help you once we know that you better.  


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schultzy04 says ... 



The common man like yourself doesn't understand terms like probable cause, due process, or priority. You have no idea what other things the department is working on. What you gave them is "it's possible that my stolen car is on craigslist, but i'm not 100 percent sure if it is my car or not." If you can't identify you're own car for sure by a photo, than it will be pretty difficult for an officer to side-step a person's constitutional rights and do what you want him to do. You said that you don't want to make it seem like you are attacking LE, but that's how I took your post. People make rash judgments about police officers not doing their jobs without knowing the hoops we have to jump through and how every decision we make is scrutinized by the public.


You also are coming on here and making your very first posts as a complete stranger, asking us to help you. We don't know you. We don't know who you are. It is possible that you stole the car and are trying to find all of the VIN numbers so you can erase any hope of identifying a vehicle. How are we supposed to know? For this one.....you are going to have to get help from your local resources. For the long term.....hang around the site a bit. Build some credibility with the members here, and we may be more inclined to help you once we know that you better.  



Exactly....

Vpsomourningband_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Why would your PD have to teletype them... if you reported your car stolen and provided proper proof of ownership your vehicle is already entered into NCIC.  I don't know what city you live in so I can't tell you how they handle things.  Wait until Monday and give them a call.  Hopefully they haven't sold your car by then.


 


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Newpatch_sq90_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Depending on the year, make and model there are numerous vin numbers and partial numbers that can be referenced to the vin.  We cannot discuss this in an open forum.  Call your local police department or the city PD where the car is listed in, and discuss this with them.  An auto thief cannot change every number on the car , unless they totally rebuild it.


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Thorroses_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

1st If you don't know where the hidden VIN's are apparently you've never gotten dirty and worked on a car.


2nd I'm glad the LEO's on here haven't just come out and said! Because let's face it you're a new profile, you haven't posted an intro. & therefore could be a thief looking to hide any VIN #'s you may have missed.


3rd When my car was stolen the Detective in charge told me the best way to get it back would be to go to the closest towing company give them the key and have them repo it. With that in mind I figured why hire them to do it and I did it myself. However when I found it in a well know drug area in town I didn't approach it. Hell I didn't even pause to look. I knew it was my car & I knew chances were high I could get killed. I called the Sheriff and had him come witness me get into my car and drive it to the station where we found a nice bunch of marijuana plants in the trunk. Hmmm crazy that drug traffickers don't use their own cars. ROTFLMAO


4th I had a friend, her car was stolen and became a murder crime scene. She got her car back blood and all.... need I say more?

2011-04-17_21

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

I am in the same shoes as u my frustration level is very high because my car was stolen in the front parking lot of a place with lots of cameras.  2 days later i found it on craigslist i reported it fri morning they told me the same thing they told u. im in ga and im so mad right now i had liability insurence and am now offically screwed because some thief steals what ive worked hard for. im more then likely about to lose my job because i depended on that car to get me to work. i might wait until monday hopefully my car isnt sold or dissapears but the temptation to handle matters myself is quite tempting these car jackers are only so bold because they get away with it and continue to get away time and time again ur car/my car and who knows how many others might dissapear. who ever stole my car is playing with my life and stealing food out of my childs mouth with this crime. i dont want 2 sit back and let them get away with this i know also that cops are busy and so do theives. people have 2 disicions to make lie down and be screwed or go down fighting, idk about u but i only lay down to sleep. ill just half to review ga's version of fl's self defense law.

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somanyquest says ...



I am in the same shoes as u my frustration level is very high because my car was stolen in the front parking lot of a place with lots of cameras.  2 days later i found it on craigslist i reported it fri morning they told me the same thing they told u. im in ga and im so mad right now i had liability insurence and am now offically screwed because some thief steals what ive worked hard for. im more then likely about to lose my job because i depended on that car to get me to work. i might wait until monday hopefully my car isnt sold or dissapears but the temptation to handle matters myself is quite tempting these car jackers are only so bold because they get away with it and continue to get away time and time again ur car/my car and who knows how many others might dissapear. who ever stole my car is playing with my life and stealing food out of my childs mouth with this crime. i dont want 2 sit back and let them get away with this i know also that cops are busy and so do theives. people have 2 disicions to make lie down and be screwed or go down fighting, idk about u but i only lay down to sleep. ill just half to review ga's version of fl's self defense law.



 


Can I suggest that you let the POLICE handle it. You talk about how they are taking food out of your kids mouth. Well, I am sorry, but you need to find some way to get to work. 


I know that Police Officers are very busy. You should let them take care of finding their car. They are equiped to do that. 


Also, please post an introduction of yourself in the introduction forums.


Thank you


"Ladies and Gentlemen, take my advice. Pull down your pants and slide on the ice."~~~~ Allan Arbus, (MASH, Sidney Freedman)

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati..... When All Else Fails, Play Dead~~~ Red Green....

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!" (Franklin D Roosevelt).

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

 I will give you my final update on this thread and than I will go on my way.  My car was stolen in Austin, TX and the ad in question was in Houston.  I travelled there, met with the person under the guise of being interested in buying it, checked it out and found out two things; one, the car was almost certainly a hot car.  The front dash VIN plate was bolted on using cheap bolts (mine was adherred in a more permanent manner, the vehicle had the VIN on every window (mine didn't, and that seemed odd as the markings were blurred and amateurish) and everything generally struck me as "odd" and made my spidey sense tingle in every way. Two; it was not MY stolen car.


I have to say this, especially on a board completely focusing on LEO and LEO affairs, but I have absolutely no faith in the ability of my local (Austin) PD.  The worst part about it is that I have heard from various other local LEO (Travis County Sheriff, Williamson County Sheriff, and a few other departments nation-wide) that they are considered to be on the low end of the competence scale (I am being polite, the Travis County Sheriff gentleman used MUCH harsher terminology).  It is so upsetting to feel that my local law enforcement is simply being used as a means for county tax revenue rather than crime fighting. I mean, South by Southwest (one of, if not the biggest music venues in the nation) is known for having increased crime but the powers that be decided that it would be better spent to use our LEO to crack down on the more nefarious crimes like traffic stops and have just started a huge push to fight jay-walking.  It is so frustrating!


I know, outsider looking in, and I don't know what really happens outside my perception, however you must realize that the human condition truely is a matter of "perception is reality", and many here percieve our LEO as nothing a means to additionally tax the population base.  I hate that feeling!  I would LOVE to have the feeling of safety and security when I would see a squad car or an officer like I did when I was a young boy.  Now, when I see a squad car or a policeman I feel the need to make sure I am "dotting all my I's, and crossing all my T's" so I don't get a ticket for something minor.  I HATE it, and I imagine there are those on the other side of the fence that know this and hate it too.


 


Anyways, I ramble again.  Farewell folks, and thank you for the help in the above created thread.

2011-04-17_21

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_CuyMPt12w oh and 2 firedad i would let the police handle it but if i did that my car might be sold bye then i need action not promises that dont hold up. im not blameing the police 4 my problem im asking 4 help if they cant provide it because there busy i half 2 look out 4 myself, ask the other hundread thousand people who never saw there cars again, only diffrence is my insurence wont reimburse me im against a rock and a hard place. ur not in my shoes its easy to say what u would do when ur not in my sittuation.

Radio2_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 2 years ago

 

 I am NOT going to have a pissing match here. I just gave you an opinion. Do what you want. I was just saying to just let the police handle it. 


Most LEO's have a lot of duties. They do the best they can. 


And please post an introduction on the site.


"Ladies and Gentlemen, take my advice. Pull down your pants and slide on the ice."~~~~ Allan Arbus, (MASH, Sidney Freedman)

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati..... When All Else Fails, Play Dead~~~ Red Green....

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!" (Franklin D Roosevelt).

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2011-04-17_21

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

im not mad at u or police, i hear ur advice and its probably the safest advice but everyday that goes bye is a possibility of me losing my car i just cant let that happen. i would be more assured 2 let them do there job if the success rate was higher. I might even feel better about it if the officer that met me on the night of my car being stolen didnt tell me that more then likely my car is gone and they dont look for stolen cars unless its life or death. i made up my mind im going to look and see if this is my car lets see if i can be a decent detective and not get killed last post tom im going in i will write again after i find my car. ps if i make it back ill do an intro

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Seriously did you guys not learn anything from my post? Pull your heads out and don't go in half cocked!!! CYA & ever think maybe the LEOs arent so worried about your cars because they'd rather find the one for that nice LEO respecting civilian that didn't give them the your not doing anything attitude?!?!? Oh & I'm an Austin resident... maybe you should check out our news section & you might find an articale I submitted on why they are cracking down on jay walking.....

Thorroses_max50

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 Oh & apparently y'all have never heard of the craigslist killers.... U can't fix stupid...

25-1-13-a_1__max50

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DPalmer says ...



Seriously did you guys not learn anything from my post? Pull your heads out and don't go in half cocked!!! CYA & ever think maybe the LEOs arent so worried about your cars because they'd rather find the one for that nice LEO respecting civilian that didn't give them the your not doing anything attitude?!?!? Oh & I'm an Austin resident... maybe you should check out our news section & you might find an articale I submitted on why they are cracking down on jay walking.....



Dara, you should post it here on PL in the member submitted news.

Thorroses_max50

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 Ron by our I mint PL...catching a reflection on that gold badge? LOL

2011-04-17_21

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i did learn from ur post i was gonna call the cops when i was close to the meeting location I called the guy from a friends phone car sold............... with prob a diff vin so now its really gone im another statistic now should have handled this myself on fri morning.

2011-04-17_21

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and i never had an attitude with the police i trusted and waited instead of goin in myself. well u see where that got me

Bluejersey_max50

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somanyquest says ...



i did learn from ur post i was gonna call the cops when i was close to the meeting location I called the guy from a friends phone car sold............... with prob a diff vin so now its really gone im another statistic now should have handled this myself on fri morning.



Without dismantling the whole Vehicle, they can't change all the Vins.  Who told you the Car was sold, the Car theives?  Also didn't you post that I'm guessing around 3am?  In High Crime Areas that's like a Criminals witching hour.  Did it occur to you that LE may have been busy in that area at that time and you may be taking them away from higher Priorites?


What doesn't kill me had better start running!

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