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Craigslist buyer drives off with family's Chrysler, leaving trail of stolen cars

This is the last the Burris family ever saw of their Chrysler.

This is the last the Burris family ever saw of their Chrysler. Luther Burris

It was Friday evening, around half past 6 p.m. Luther Burris looked for a stranger outside his condo in St. Louis Park. He’d connected with a shopper on Craigslist, and he’d hoped to sell his blue Chrysler 300 that evening for $4,600.

Burris is from Kansas City. He and his wife, Umorrow, had bought the car after moving to Minnesota six months ago, not yet knowing the sedan wasn't quite suited for these winters. He was hoping the sale would get him closer to buying a more snow-worthy car. 

Burris knew there were risks with using Craigslist, but he figured his building's surveillance cameras would pick up anything suspicious.

He found the buyers waiting for him in a Chrysler 300 of their own -- this one an off-white color. It was a white couple -- a man with a goatee, maybe in his late 20s or early 30s, and a woman with sandy blond hair who looked a little older.

The man mentioned how much he wanted a Chrysler 300 with a hemi engine. He asked Burris if he could take it for a test drive. The buyer handed over his own keys as collateral and asked if his wife could come along.

Burris checked the keys in his hand. They looked to be the proper set for the white Chrysler. “Sure,” he answered. The couple drove off.

Burris waited for nearly a half-hour before finally calling the buyer to make sure everything was okay. All he got was an automated message: “Verizon service was disconnected.”

Five minutes later, he called the police.

The St. Louis Park officers examined the white Chrysler left behind. A quick investigation confirmed that the vehicle had two different license plates -- one for a 2007 Chrysler, and one for a 2006 -- and the VIN number indicated it had been stolen out of Brooklyn Center.

It definitely, Burris told Fox 9, wasn’t the thief’s first time. It probably wasn’t their second time either.

But the trail went cold. Surveillance cameras caught the exchange in the parking lot, but missed the suspects’ faces. The white Chrysler was towed back to Brooklyn Center.

Burris has been posting warnings on Facebook marketplace, lest someone else get swindled, and he set up a Facebook fundraiser hoping to raise money for a new car.

Mostly he just wants the thieves to be caught. Nobody, he said -- his family or any other -- should have to go through this.