San Diego man learns antique car he bought was stolen

Posted at 8:31 AM, Sep 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-19 11:31:55-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego man’s dream car purchase quickly turned into a nightmare after he learned it was stolen.

Darren Farnesi thought he managed to get his hands on a 1920s-era Pierce-Arrow.

“There are only six of them that we know of in this club that exist today,” Farnesi told 10News.

Through a broker, Farnesi worked out a plan to pick up the car in Hemet on Labor Day weekend.

Although there was no pink slip with the vehicle, Farnesi was told that’s not uncommon for a car that old.

“All he had was this letter willing it to him from some lady who had died,” Farnesi said.

The car’s seller identified himself as Michael Carroll. Farnesi showed 10News that Carroll’s name was on a cashier’s check and a bill of sale from the DMV.

“He let me photograph him and his IDs and everything, that's why I have all that information. So, I really wasn't suspecting anything,” said Farnesi.

A few days later, Farnesi’s joy turned to disbelief after he learned the car had been reported stolen.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department told Farnesi that he was able to buy the car before the real owner noticed it was gone.

“The deputies have pretty much told me to kiss the money good bye, but he should pay for what he did,” said Farnesi.

Farnesi told 10News that deputies served a search warrant at Carroll’s address, but he’s still on the loose and there’s no telling when or if the law might catch up to him.

“Of course we have a rock-solid case against Michael Carroll because there's no doubt that I gave him the money and he gave us the car,” Farnesi said. “I hope that we could maybe, somehow, find the guy.”

Farnesi said he holds the broker partially responsible and is trying to see if he can get his money back through him.