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Preventing auto theft by a former owner

traindepottraindepot Member Posts: 2
edited June 2016 in General
A seller sells the buyer a used 2015 vehicle for $19,000. Fair price for the year, make and model, mileage and condition. The seller gives two keys, but the buyer is unaware that the seller is keeping a third key - which was produced by the manufacturer a while ago "to replace a lost key." The seller will then use that key to disable the factory alarm and steal the car later in the week when the buyer parks it in the driveway. The seller will get rid of it quickly (illegally) and clear a monetary gain.

How do most used car buyers prevent former owners and key holders from stealing their cars?


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Seems to be that would be a pretty dumb car thief, since the paper trail leads right back to him.

    But OK, let's say this could happen. After all many criminals aren't that smart, after all.

    what could you do to prevent this? Well I guess you could get a Lo-Jack installed (car locator). They claim a 90% recovery rate.

  • traindepottraindepot Member Posts: 2
    edited June 2016
    Only if the law enforcement inquires with the manufacturer they will be told a duplicate key was made. Except the seller could lie by saying the key was lost. Then the investigator would also have to consider the car was hotwired or stolen by a tow truck.

    Do most used car buyers do nothing extra to prevent the hypothetical situation from occurring? They use the same alarm system and same key. Is car theft by a former owner not a big concern?
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    First time I've heard of this scenario.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited June 2016
    Pretty risky, and no work for a novice.

    Here's One Case I Found of This Happening

    Note the unhappy ending for the thieves. Their scam was to give the buyer a fake title, meaning they kept their own title so that they could re-sell the car again (very hard to sell a car without papers--your only resort is a chop-shop).

    Then the morons advertised the car again on Craigslist.

    They'll be in prison for a couple years.

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