What We are Raising Money For:
We (my husband and I) are here seeking to raise $2,500 for a car after we had $2,500 stolen from us while looking into purchasing a car.
My husband is in the US Navy, I am a stay at home mom of a beautiful baby boy. When I was pregnant my husband and I desperately searched for a second car because we only have one... it may sound unecessary but due to the fact that my husband works just over an hour from where we live, it was important to us in case of emergency with our newest family member. I have many doctor appointments to take my son to due to his GERD, "failure to thrive" because of the GERD and from being born prematurely.
My husband and I looked at dealerships for months, and we decided since I just needed the car for doctor's appointments and emergencies that we could search on Craigslist for an inexpensive car to simply get from point A to point B.
We met a man who spoke professionally to us over the phone and via e-mail, he said that he restored cars and then resold them, giving us information so we were under the impression that it was his profession. We met up with him locally to look at a car. My husband is extremely familiar with cars and is educated in Engineering due to his Navy education so he just wanted to go "take a look" at the vehicle and see if it would be safe for myself and our future son to drive.
The Incident That Went Ignored:
When we met up with said man, he and my husband looked over the car. My husband didn't notice anything besides it needing an oil change. The man continued to give us the background to the car showing us a "title", my husband stepped away with him to talk numbers because we were interested after a test drive around the neighborhood, but we did not have our hearts set on it. While talking about the price and trying to negotiate, my husband reached for his phone in his pocket and his wallet fell out. The man who had to have been at least 45-50 years old quickly went to "pick up" my husbands wallet for him as I watched from the car. The man then proceeded to get into his car and drive away with our credit card cash advance of $2,500 for a car. My husband was visibly upset as he came back to me and told me he stole his wallet. I was confused, since I thought the man just picked up his wallet for him, I had to calm him down to have him explain. I called the man immediately and he stated "I have a family emergency I will meet you back there in about an hour and a half", after a half an hour I called again and the number was disconnected. After two and a half hours of waiting, we realized the disconnect wasn't a mistake and tried to figure out what to do.
Our Attempts to Seek "Justice":
We then got online and traced the number back to a phone out of Tijuana Mexico which is not far from where we live. We frantically called the police and the 3 separate times I called, the dispatcher was extremely rude and short saying it was a matter of a "civil case" and there was nothing they could do to help us. Being from out of state, we were shocked because nothing like that had ever happened back where we are from.
We proceeded to look in the car to see if we could find any information on this man besides the name we had and the phone number he disconnected. In the glove compartment we found a title to the car, but it was not the title he had shown us. It showed several different owners and the car originally coming from Mexico, when we were told the only owner was his son. We went to the addresses listed on the title and they were all ficticous besides one, which was a private nursing home, which did not match the information of the corresponding person on the title.
While driving home the car started to expell dark smoke and overheat. We called Navy Legal and were told the same thing, to pursue a civil case. Well with no help from police and after paying out of pocket to do "people searches" online we still have not come up with the man's address so he could even be served. We recovered very little information.
We were left with a car we could do absolutely nothing with because a mechanic told us that it would cost more in repairs than what it was worth.
After trying to find the man's real phone number with no success, I then e-mailed the thief and told him to at least give us a legitimate title or a bill of sale so we could possibly try to scrap it or trade it in. No response. We both remained calm and polite in the e-mails we sent him hoping that it was an honest mistake because my husband and I were both flabbergasted that someone would do that to someone in the military, especially when the person had an extremely pregnant wife (myself).
So now my husband and I have exhausted all attempts to try to get the money back, and we are still out of a car. It has been a very disappointing and perspective changing experience for the both of us. It may seem to have been out of naivety on our parts, but this man went to great lengths to put on a great show.
Conclusion and our Wishes:
We are looking to raise to money we had stolen back in order to get a used car for the previous stated reasons, nothing fancy or special, just something to get my son and myself around while my husband is working his 12 hour days, 6 days a week. It would help our family so much and would do our hearts so much good to be helped when everyone else refused to help us. We have been told from many people that California has a lot of loopholes in it's laws and that may be why we were refused help, which we did not know prior to this incident. Sincerely, anything would help, this is the last option we saw and are going out on a limb hoping that our story will be a cautionary tale to save others from the same treatment.