Car dealer donates to single dad after Craigslist scam

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A single dad got conned by a crook out of a car - the person who sold it didn't actually own it.

Twins Auto in Detroit donated a 2008 Ford Taurus hatchback to Chris Mark. It's not the ride he wanted but it's a lot better than nothing.

Chris, 29, was ripped off earlier this week after a man named "Reggie" contacted him about his motorcycle on Craigslist and said he'd be willing to part ways with his 2014 Jeep Cherokee for the bike and an extra $2,000.

They met at the Riverstone Apartment complex in Southfield on Sunday.

"He gave me a title a real title, and it matches the ID and it matched vin numbers everything, we did the trade," he said.

But Chris was in for a rude awakening when he went to the Secretary of State on Tuesday to put the title in his name.

"They look at the title, they start running it and they almost start taking my money," he said. "Right at the end she said something doesn't make sense."

The title had been altered and the car was stolen.

"My heart dropped," he said. "For one, I put all my money out there to get the truck and gave up my bike. So now I'm out thousands and don't even have a ride to work."

It turns out that Jeep Cherokee was stolen from Twins Auto Sales in Detroit last week. Two women were identified as suspects.

The owner says they woman test drove the Jeep and never returned it.

Chris Mark says he called Southfield police but they were unable to make an incident report at the time.

He drove the Jeep back home to Genesee County and turned it over to the sheriff's auto theft taskforce. They traced it back and returned it to Twins Auto Sales.

"The situation with Chris, we felt really bad, so we just ended up donating a vehicle to him because we knew he needed it and that's all he had to work with," said Al Saad.

"They helped me out getting me a car to get by for now," Chris said. "And at least I can get to work until we can figure something out."

A spokesman for the Secretary of State says crooks sometimes steal and alter car titles. Whenever you buy a car from a private owner, go to a local branch with the seller to do the title transfer and make sure everything is on the up and up before you hand over your money.

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