Arizona buyer of Ford Bronco stolen from Michigan factory loses $75,000
Dozens of vehicles stolen from Ford factory lot end up in Arizona
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Everything looked like it was legitimate. All of the paperwork was in order. The vehicle even appeared to have been driven from Alaska, with an Alaska license plate and a few thousand miles on the odometer. The problem is this Ford Bronco Raptor was one of dozens of brand-new vehicles stolen from the factory lot in Detroit and sold to unsuspecting buyers here in Arizona.
“I messed up, for sure,” said Nick, whose last name Arizona’s Family Investigates agreed not to disclose so he would tell his story. Nick purchased the Bronco in March after seeing it listed on Craigslist.
He paid $75,000 for the vehicle after doing a Carfax check and taking the title to a third-party MVD location in Phoenix. “If there was any issues, the VIN would have flagged - I’m assuming in the system that they have. And it didn’t,” said Nick.
But it turns out the sellers had switched the VIN. The new VIN does not appear to have raised any red flags in the state’s auto-title computer system.
Three weeks later, when Nick traded the Bronco for a larger pickup truck at a Valley dealership, an employee noticed a discrepancy with the VINs and called the police. “The dealership called. The general manager called. He was like really pissed off and screaming at me on the phone,” said Nick.
Police took custody of the vehicle, and Nick says he is out the $75,000 he spent. He’s not the only victim. Other buyers in Arizona, New Mexico and Tennessee were also scammed. It’s unclear how this Bronco ended up in Arizona. It had Alaska plates and registration and appears to have spent time in California.
Last week, police in Canton, Michigan, announced they arrested seven people in connection to the theft of Broncos from the Ford lot. This week, the Arizona Auditor General’s Office issued a report criticizing state oversight of third-party MVD offices.
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