Couple helps break up major auto theft ring after selling Corvette on Craigslist

Published: Apr. 6, 2015 at 9:58 PM EDT|Updated: May. 21, 2015 at 6:42 PM EDT
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Christy and Michael Childers (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Christy and Michael Childers (Source: WAVE 3 News)

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - A Hardin County couple thought they were taking precautions and doing everything right when they were selling their Corvette on Craigslist. Little did they know in just a matter of days their car would be just one of many police believe was stolen in an organized crime ring.

It's the kind of car that makes people take notice. Michael and Christy Childers love their 2010 Corvette convertible, but felt the time was right to part ways.

"Spring was coming, it was a good time to sell it and we tried to sell it before and so I just took it upon myself to do it again," Michael Childers said.

A few weeks after they listed the car for sale on Craigslist, one caller sounded promising.

"He told me he was going to buy it for his son who was graduating from college," Michael Childers said. "I thought that was very unusual and expensive gift, but I felt good about it."

They decided to let the buyer deal directly with their bank.

"We thought getting a cashier's check and getting them to send it directly to our financial institution and paying our loan off was going to be the best way to go," Christy Childers said.

The cashier's check cleared and the buyer told Michael they would pick up the car in their driveway overnight and just asked that he leave the keys by the back tire.

"We thought it was unusual, but we had his money as far as we knew," Michael Childers said.

It wasn't until a couple days later that they got a bad feeling after an ad for their car ended up on Chicago's Craigslist.

They got a copy of the check and called Capital One, the bank listed.

"Immediately they told us that's not our routing number, that's not a check number we would use and our next phone call was to KSP to say our car has actual been stolen," Christy Childers said.

Kentucky State Police contacted investigators in Illinois and the two agencies quickly worked together. Country Club Hills Police detectives set up a sting operation outside of Chicago and they arrested two people who were in the couple's Corvette.

"One of the recommendations on Craigslist that I didn't listen to was to meet at a police station," Michael Childers said. "I have no desire to sell it anymore. I'm going to keep it."

Investigators believe this could be the break they need to finally stop a major auto theft crime ring.

A detective with Country Club Hills police said a task force was put in place specifically to stop this kind of auto theft. While they are glad to make two arrests, they say the job is far from finished and know there are more people involved.

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