“We thought it was a steal,” Family of seven duped into buying stolen car

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City Police are on the lookout for a one-man crime spree accused of shoplifting, carjacking and selling off a stolen car to a family of seven.

Jason Anderson and his fiance, Amy Stacey, had been searching for a new family car for months.

"We're lucky to have a car," Anderson said. "But we'd like one that doesn't die on you all the time. It's not just annoying. It's dangerous."

They finally found a deal on a Dodge Durango on Craigslist.

"We thought it was a steal," Anderson remembered.

"I saw it and it sounded like a pretty good deal," said Stacey about the 2001 model with 188,000 miles.

The family paid $2,000 cash.

They gassed up their new vehicle, then titled it in their name.

But, a few weeks later the family of seven discovered their car wasn't theirs at all.

"The cops showed up," said Stacey. "They told us it was stolen."

Oklahoma City Police confirm their Durango had been stolen a few weeks prior to the sale.

In fact, the thief procured that SUV in a very unusual way.

"He was really set on criminal activity on this day," said Oklahoma City Master Sergeant Gary Knight. "He certainly succeeded in getting this car."

Valentine's Day, police say the suspect was spotted walking out of the Home Depot on I-240 with a cart full of stolen merchandise.

"A guy who works for Department of Corrections just happens to be in the store and sees him," Knight said. "(He) goes to the parking lot to confront him. The thief then took off running."

The suspect ran down the street to a house on S.E. 69th where Terry Stewart was loading up her Dodge Durango.

"Next thing I know, it was started up and it was going down the road," Stewart recalled.

She had left the keys in the ignition and the title in the glove box.

That is apparently how the thief was able to con Anderson and his family into buying the stolen car.

"I just don't see how they could do that to another family," said Stacey, who remembered meeting the thief and his wife and one of his children during the sale.

The Anderson family is back in their old wheels; re-focused on saving up for another car.

"Probably next year. If we can hold on that long," Anderson said.

Oklahoma City Police are working to identify the suspect in this case.

They are reviewing surveillance video and talking with eyewitnesses who saw the crimes occur.

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