Ypsilanti teen out thousands after buying stolen car off Craigslist

YPSILANTI, Mich. (WXYZ) - A Ypsilanti teen says he worked hard to buy the car of his dreams, only to find out the car he had bought off a man on Craigslist was registered as stolen. 

“This one spoke out to me like this is the one,” said Daniel O’Bryan. 

O’Bryan has been balancing high school and his job at Kroger for the past two years. He saved up enough money to buy the 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,” said Daniel O’Bryan’s mother, Kathy O’Bryan. 

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 is Sal’s Auto Parts out of Detroit. The owner tells me he lent the car to a business partner at M&G Repair; 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,” said O’Bryan. 

O'Bryan says the man who sold him the car is not returning his calls. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help him recoup his losses.

A spokesperson for the Michigan Secretary of State gave us 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

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