PALMDALE (CBSLA.com) — Anyone in the market for a used late-model Toyota Corolla should beware of a consumer warning issued Wednesday by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives.
Authorities say a 2010 Toyota Corolla — and the vehicle’s pink slip — were stolen by an armed man posing as a buyer of the car, which was advertised for sale on Craigslist.
“Since the suspect will not be able to register the vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles, it is suspected that he intends to use the Certificate of Title to sell it to an innocent party, unaware of the theft,” officials said in a statement.
The suspect had responded to a Craigslist ad and met with the car’s owner for a test drive, detectives said. The suspect asked the owner for the pink slip, but the owner said he didn’t have it at that time.
On Tuesday, the suspect showed up at the owner’s home in Palmdale unannounced, confirmed the man had the pink slip, and asked for another test drive, according to the sheriff’s department. After a short drive, the suspect stopped the car, pointed a handgun at the owner and demanded his cell phone and the pink slip.
Detectives say the owner of the car relinquished the items and was threatened if he notified the police.
The vehicle is described as a gold, 2010 Toyota Corolla with a Los Angeles Lakers license plate frame, 18-inch black rims and California license plate #6SJN245.
The suspect was described as a Hispanic man who is roughly 25 years old, 5-foot-8 and 200 pounds with brown hair. He wore glasses with yellow frames, a black shirt, denim pants and black, white and red Air Jordans.
Anyone who sees the vehicle or the suspect should report the sighting to any local police agency.