Kansas City, Kan., woman unknowingly buys carjacked car, swarmed by police at license bureau

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A Kansas City, Kan., woman is warning others about scam artists that she says sold her a stolen car that was taken from its rightful owner during an armed carjacking.

The theft and the bogus sale took place in the Northeast neighborhood this month.

"You try to look out for people as well as you’d try to have someone look out for you," said Brandi Colding, the scam victim. "He makes it harder for other people to really sell things that are legitimate. No one will ever take you serious. I would not."

As a single mom, Colding needed reliable transportation to get back and forth to work. But she didn't have a lot of money to spend. On Saturday, she saw an ad on an app called "Offer Up" for a 2004 Chevy Impala for only $1,200. It seemed too good to be true and that should have been her first warning sign that something was not right.

The man selling the car had a title in the name of a woman, who he claimed was his wife, and Colding took a photo of the man signing over the title, another big red flag that this was not legitimate.

On Monday when Colding tried to register the car in Kansas, she quickly found herself surrounded by law enforcement.

"The highway patrol comes swarming in on me," Colding said. "'Yeah she’s over there.' I’m like, 'What did I do?' I didn’t know what was going on. He told me, 'You know the car is stolen.' I just boo hooed. I cried, I really did because when you work so hard for something and it’s your last, you tell a person and you don’t expect them to scam you the way he scammed me."

Colding remembered the name that was on the title and tracked down the rightful owner on Facebook's Stolen KC page. She learned that the woman had been carjacked at gunpoint earlier this month by men matching the same description of the guys who sold her the car.

Colding believes this is more than just property crime when it involves a gang with guns. She hopes the photos, location and phone numbers she can provide to detectives will help police prevent another woman from becoming a victim.