Owner's car stolen during test drive with man he met online

A word of warning from police about selling your car online after a BMW was stolen during a test drive with the owner.

LaSalle police recommend you take photo of buyer's license, text to family member

A LaSalle man was trying to sell this 2008 BMW M3 sedan on AutoTrader before it was stolen. (LaSalle police)

A word of warning from police about selling your car online after a BMW was stolen during a test drive with the owner.

An AutoTrader ad was seeking roughly $40,000 for a 2008 BMW M3 sedan. Someone expressed interest and arrived at the seller's home without a car of his own.

That's when police say a "red flag" should have gone up.

Still, they went for a ride, with the owner in the driver's seat.

The man made an offer of $6,000 lower than the asking price and expressed great interest in the car. But the owner said that was too low. So, the suspect then asked to drive it himself.

When both men went to swap seats, the suspect sped off before the rightful owner could hop into the passenger side.

The AutoTrader ad was seeking roughly $40,000 for this 2008 BMW M3 sedan. Someone expressed interest and arrived at the seller's home without a car of his own. (LaSalle police)

The suspect had a Toronto-area  telephone number and spoke about having connections to the Greater Toronto Area. Police say the vehicle could be in that region.

LaSalle police said this serves as a lesson to anyone selling a vehicle online. 

"Always ask the guy or girl for their driver's license, take a picture and email it to yourself right away," said LaSalle police media relations officer Harbinder Gill. "Or send a text to your family, saying this is a guy I'm going out for a test drive with."

Gill also recommends never inviting anyone to your home to purchase something, especially a vehicle.

Anything can happen, he said, referring to the tragic slaying of Hamilton father and husband Tim Bosma, after taking two people on a test drive of a truck he was trying to sell.

Both men were found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years.

About the Author

Jason Viau

Jason Viau is a video journalist, TV host and radio newsreader at CBC Windsor. He was born in North Bay, but has lived in Windsor for most of his life. Since graduating from St. Clair College, he's worked in print, TV and radio. Email him at jason.viau@cbc.ca