‘Brazen as hell’: Toronto man’s luxury car stolen during AutoTrader sale

A Toronto man is sounding the alarm after he says his luxury sports car was stolen in broad daylight while he was selling the vehicle on an online marketplace earlier this month.

“I thought I was dreaming,” the seller, who did not want to be identified for fear of his safety, told CTV News Toronto.

This comes as the city is gripped by a carjacking spree, including six stolen cars in the Greater Toronto Area in a single evening last week.

Earlier this month, the Toronto man said he listed his car on AutoTrader. Soon after, he says an eager buyer messaged him to come see the vehicle that afternoon.

Instead of driving to the seller’s residence, the buyer approached by foot, stating he had parked down the street.

The seller said the two spent close to an hour together, first inspecting the parked car and then went on a test drive in the neighbourhood.

When they returned, the seller said the buyer expressed intention to purchase the car and asked if the engine could be turned on again in order to hear it “purr.” Then, he said the buyer asked to take a look at the key and swap spots to “get a feel for the driver’s seat.”

“He got me to somehow get out of the car,” the seller said. Just as the seller exited the vehicle, he says the buyer quickly reversed and accelerated into oncoming traffic.

“He thought of everything,” the seller said. “It was brazen as hell.”

Police confirmed to CTV News that a Toronto man who had listed his car on AutoTrader earlier this month was the victim of a carjacking.

AutoTrader also confirmed that an alleged instance of vehicle theft was brought to their attention in Toronto. “As Canada’s largest automotive marketplace, this is a concern we take seriously and are committed to working collaboratively with local law enforcement to support their investigation into this case,” the company said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Toronto man said he’s hoping that his experience can be utilized as a cautionary tale that teaches others to avoid scenarios like his and take proactive steps, such as cleansing their car of personal information and separating their car and home keys to reduce post-theft stress.

Consumer protection tips

AutoTrader provided CTV News Toronto with safety tips for buyers and sellers to avoid future car thefts.

Before meeting the buyer, they encourage the seller to research the purchaser online and request proof of a valid driver’s licence ahead of an in-person meeting.

Also, they suggest taking a photo of the licence details and sharing them with another person who knows the location and timing of the meeting — that’s both for test driving purposes and verifying the person’s identity.

For the meeting itself, AutoTrader said to set a secure, public space to meet during daylight hours, such as a police station parking lot.

The company said, if a buyer is willing to purchase a vehicle without seeing it first, the transaction is likely fraudulent.

Once the sale reaches the point of purchase, the company says to never share personal information, such as credit card numbers or banking information. Instead, payment should be made through a certified cheque or cash.

View original article here Source