Con Artist Steals Car From Los Gatos Residence Through Online Fraud

A Los Gatos man advertised his vehicle for sale on Craigslist.

A LGMSPD patrol car. Photo by Sheila Sanchez
A LGMSPD patrol car. Photo by Sheila Sanchez
A Los Gatos man had his car stolen by a con artist who walked up to his residence and drove away with the vehicle through a fraudulent transaction on Craigslist.

According to Los Gatos/Monte Sereno police, the 57-year-old victim advertised the sale of his old Mercedes Benz on the classified advertisement website sometime in mid September.

He waited a couple of weeks and then a suspect, whose exact age and identification are not confirmed by police yet, contacted the victim wanting to "buy" the car.

The thief arrived at the victim's Shannon Road home the afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 24 to "purchase the vehicle" presenting a fictitious California driver's license and took off in the car, police said.

"The suspect possibly fraudulently used another person’s form of identification to make the transaction and identify himself to the seller," said Los Gatos/Monte Sereno police Sgt. spokesman Clinton Tada.

The victim and the suspect used a third-party source of payment website which declined the "initial payment" by the suspect, Sgt. Tada added.

Further investigation is ongoing with the payment company to determine the thief's identity and the reason why the funds were declined, Sgt. Tada explained.

It's unknown the exact value and condition of the vehicle, but it was originally "sold" for $1,600, Sgt. Tada said.

Police said they have leads as to the suspect's identity and whereabouts and said the investigation is ongoing with detectives actively pursuing the case.

Ethan Harmer October 15, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Technology does present opportunities for those trying to commit fraud. So many new technological concepts are presented to us as a better way to do things. Many are novel ideas, but when it comes to business, I believe it is better to go back to basics. Cash is the best language when conducting transactions.
Marilyn Leonard October 15, 2013 at 03:23 PM
I would never sell something on Craigs List unless it was cash, or the funds had cleared before the person took possession of the item. In this case, seller beware!
Larry Arzie October 15, 2013 at 03:40 PM
At that price give the car to a charity and take the deduction.


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