After seeing a good deal for a used BMW on Craigslist, an Orange County couple bought the car from the seller only to be handcuffed for driving a stolen vehicle. John Cádiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.
Farrah and Tom Johnson filled out a contract and paid $3,700 cash to buy a clean, used 2001 BMW 325i from a man who seemed professional.
"I was all excited to have this nice BMW," Farrah Johnson said. "It seemed like a good price for the mileage."
For a few days, they were happy with their purchase - until police officers pulled them over.
It turned out that they had bought a stolen car. And when they went back to the business that had sold it to them, they found just the empty husk of the shop they had visited just days earlier.
The dealership was not licensed to do business. The salesman was nowhere to be found.
Experts said that the Johnsons could have avoided their predicament by insisting on a pink slip. The couple said the salesman promised he would mail it after he took care of some final paperwork issues.
NBC4's John Cadiz Klemack spoke over the phone with the salesman, Ramon Vladimir Torres Quiroz, who said he has sold 200 cars and received no complaints.
"Don't judge me yet," Quiroz said.
He said he plans to issue the Johnsons a refund.
"I'm working on it," he said. "As soon as I get the money, I'll get them their money back."