SILENT WITNESS

Phoenix police warn car buyers about blank titles stolen in 2016

Jul 2, 2024, 11:00 AM

Surveillance camera images show the men suspected of stealing blank car titles from a third-party M...

Surveillance camera images show the men suspected of stealing blank car titles from a third-party Motor Vehicle Division office 2016. (Silent Witness Photo)

(Silent Witness Photo)

This article originally appeared July 25, 2016.

The armed robbery of a third-party Motor Vehicle Division office could cause you some big problems.

On May 23, 2016, two men walked into the office at 31st Street and Thomas Road in Phoenix and demanded all of the blank titles.

So how does this affect you?

“Titles are printed on security paper,” said Phoenix Police Sgt. Jason Davis with the auto theft detail. “Each has its own number so it can be tracked. So a person with a stolen car could make a title then sell the car to an unsuspecting buyer. 

“When you go to MVD to put it in your name, they’ll tell you it’s stolen and you’re out of luck.”

He said you can protect yourself by going to an MVD office with the car seller.

If that isn’t an option, use your phone to take a picture of the seller and the seller’s ID. Also, look for irregularities on the title, such as a strange font or misspelled words.

The thieves in this case were in and out quickly with a huge stack of blank titles and took off in a white Cadillac Deville. The clerk wasn’t hurt.

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Phoenix police warn car buyers about blank titles stolen in 2016