A MAN who was conned out of his car has thanked police who returned it as part of a sting.
He’d advertised his Range Rover Discovery for sale online and arranged to meet the buyer at a car park in Solihull last month.
The 24-year-old handed over the car, plus cash, in exchange for a 16-plate Range Rover Sport being offered in exchange.
Everything looked above board as the VIN numbers checked out and the log book appeared genuine.
But the next day, having returned home to Oxford, he spotted a discrepancy with the engine number and found the car was stolen in Birmingham earlier in November.
However, he’s now been reunited with the 4×4 after West Midlands Police lured the offenders back to the same handover point.
Sergeant Mark Heard from Solihull Police said: “The victim re-contacted the offenders claiming he needed to buy back the Land Rover for a relative. The suspects went along with it and they returned to the same car park where we were waiting.
“We arrested one man, recovered the Land Rover and also seized an Audi SQ5 which we believe was travelling in tandem with the victim’s car.
“One person made off from the scene and efforts are ongoing to trace them.
“I’m pleased we’ve helped get the car back for the victim as it’s very unlikely he would have been able to claim on his insurance given the circumstances of the theft.”
A 38-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of fraud and later released under investigation while enquiries progress.
The stolen car handed over as part of the trade has been seized for forensic examination.
The victim said: “I thought I’d carried out enough checks to ensure the car was genuine and it came as a real shock to find I’d been conned.
“I’m really grateful West Midlands Police helped me get the car back just a few days after it had been stolen. It’s a big relief as I didn’t think I’d see the car again.
“It’s been a wake-up call for me about due diligence when buying a car independently.”