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'Ronald Reagan' stole this Mercedes. Here's how you can stay safe selling a car online.

Posted at 7:54 AM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 18:07:37-05

GREENWOOD — The risk of selling a car online played out recently on a Greenwood driveway.

Elijah Thomas bought his old Mercedes SLK 280 last summer from his brother, but he decided to sell it and buy something more practical after he got married.

He placed the car for sale on Facebook Marketplace. On Feb. 13, a man who said his name was Ronald Reagan came to Thomas’ home to check out the vehicle.

After a test drive, Thomas and “Ronald Reagan” agreed on a selling price of $7,000.

Before any payment, the buyer first wanted to talk to his girlfriend parked nearby in their white Pontiac 6 four-door sedan.

Thomas said he remembers their final conversation in which the man told him, “I really see myself in it while standing by the door. I never seen someone get in a car so quickly and take off. He was in that car and just gone before I could try to stop him.”

Now, the Greenwood Police Department is looking for the Mercedes and the man who left the driveway without paying.

Anyone with information is asked to call Greenwood Police at 317-882-9191.

Tips for safely selling a vehicle

  • Meet in public places like a police station during your online sale exchange. Some cities have designated areas loaded with surveillance cameras.
  • Never meet alone during your sale. Safety is always top of mind.
  • Arrange your payment agreement before your sale. One idea is to meet at a bank, and if the cashiers check is approved, move ahead with your deal.


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