Officers in Dacorum are urging motorists to exercise caution when buying cars through private sales after they had to seize a stolen vehicle this week.
The black Range Rover was recovered in Hemel Hempstead after the buyer purchased it just a few days prior, but what he didn’t realise was it had previously been reported stolen that week.
The new owner of the car paid cash for it and drove it home.
The following day, he was cleaning under the bonnet when he noticed a sticker concealing the original Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which did not match the one given in the vehicle’s service book.
He gave police a call and officers were able to confirm that the car had actually been stolen from an address in north London, so they had no choice but to seize it.
A spokesperson for Herts Police said: “The car has now been reunited with its rightful owner and the police investigation remains ongoing, but the person who bought it is now thousands of pounds out of pocket.
“Buying or selling vehicles privately is usually straight forward, but both buyers and sellers can become victims of crime if they are not careful. Buying a vehicle could be one of the biggest investments you’ll make, so it pays to make sure your purchase is as safe as possible.”