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  #21  
Old 16.11.2013, 11:41
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

the swiss car registration/plates system has always struck me a pretty odd... basically you can insure and register a car in your name without any proof that you've 'bought' it or that the seller is OK with what you're doing...(unless they've registered it as stolen beforehand p.s. why didn't your austrian friend do this when the perp didn't come back from the test drive ?)

what if - in the case above - the 'offender' just says 'yep, i paid for the car in cash and this guy is trying to rip me off ?'

from memory, at least with the british system both seller and buyer sign a form that is sent off to the registration authority to show an agreed change of ownership
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  #22  
Old 16.11.2013, 11:51
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

Third option is that the middle-man pocketed the cash. Vey hard to prove, if someone is prepared to lie....
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  #23  
Old 16.11.2013, 11:57
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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the swiss car registration/plates system has always struck me a pretty odd... basically you can insure and register a car in your name without any proof that you've 'bought' it or that the seller is OK with what you're doing...(unless they've registered it as stolen beforehand p.s. why didn't your austrian friend do this when the perp didn't come back from the test drive ?)

what if - in the case above - the 'offender' just says 'yep, i paid for the car in cash and this guy is trying to rip me off ?'

from memory, at least with the british system both seller and buyer sign a form that is sent off to the registration authority to show an agreed change of ownership
In the UK, if you send of the paperwork it will go through fine, even if the seller forgot. You can also register a car without any papers, they send a letter to the old registered keeper, if no response in 14 days they issue new papers.

IIRC it states 'A registered keeper is not necessarily the legal owner'
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  #24  
Old 16.11.2013, 11:58
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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  1. NEVER hand your keys to someone or allow anyone to borrow or test drive your car. if you are selling your car, stay in it if someone would like to drive it.
  1. Swiss Insurance doesn't cover THEFT if they consider it Fraud.
The Swiss police are unfamiliar with and unequipped to deal with cases of theft through deception. They also are very LETHARGIC about investigating or following through on anything like fraud.
  1. If you sell your car and the person doesn't pay, the collections process (Zahlungsbefel throught the Betreibungsamt) is expensive, and may not result in getting anything.
A co-worker agreed to help me by posting the car on autoscout.
A man name XXX from Basel went to see the car in Zug and came back two weeks later to see it again.
He indicated that he wanted to have a mechanic look at the car, and if all was okay he would purchase the car.
My coworker allowed XXX to drive away with the car. Later, XXX called and said it checked out and offered a lower price to my co-worker, who called me.
I accepted the price, but did not give permission for XXX to be in possession of the vehicle until I was paid. XXX stopped returning phone calls and e-mails, and did not wire the money.

A few days later, my coworker learned that my plates were returned to Zug, and that XXX registered my car in his name in Basel. How? Since the registration was left in the vehicle by my co-worker, XXX of Basel was able to register the car, without any proof that it was transferred to him legally. DON'T LEAVE YOUR REGISTRATION IN THE CAR!
Sympathies this has happened to you. I guess we all make mistakes in life & have to learn the hard way.

What I do not understand, after the 1st mistake of letting the Man drive away in the car with keys and documents & neither you or co-worker in the car, you then proceed to negotiate a price without demanding the car back in the meantime?

I would presume within first 24hrs one would have a stronger case for theft.


Theft through deception seems a very hard case to prove, your word, your co-worker's word, the Man's word.

We sold a car in Switzerland, had off street parking for it. gave back the plates and got the grey book cancelled. Advertised it on internet sites.
Buyer views one day with friends. Phones and says will come the next day to buy. We were expecting him to come with money and leave on the parking spot for a few days to arrange the plates. Instead comes with thing on back of friend's car to load it up. Gave us the cash, he got the key & cancelled grey book.

Wonder what the system in Texas is?
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  #25  
Old 16.11.2013, 12:16
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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from memory, at least with the british system both seller and buyer sign a form that is sent off to the registration authority to show an agreed change of ownership
In UK grey booked is called V5C. There are a couple of tear off sections, for seller and buyer to send off. It is exactly there, that either party can be 'conned', so correct procedure needs to be follows, i.e. watching seller post form into Post Box, or ensuring that the buyer does not go off with that section for the seller.
Anyway, there is enough car deception & theft in the UK, that most people would do other checks before buying & sellers need to take the necessary precautions.
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  #26  
Old 16.11.2013, 12:32
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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and what happens when XXX wakes up one morning to find that someone had " stolen" the car whilst he was sleeping and "accidently" leaving the keys in the car.
He would report it as stolen. The law is that one has to have the grey book when driving the car. Thought most people kept their grey book along with their driving licence on them
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  #27  
Old 16.11.2013, 15:21
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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Wouldn't that be sale of stolen goods, and the friend could get done for receiving stolen goods?
It is an unfortunate quirk of Swiss law that if you hand over the key and the grey card, you have "entrusted" the car to the other person and it is therefore not theft if they waltz off with it. Worse still, if they then sell it to someone else and pocket the money, and the third party buys it "in good faith", then it's a done deal and you're out of pocket. In this situation, even if you can prove you have not received any consideration for the car, nobody can get done for receiving stolen goods.

It's one thing to castigate people for stupidity in relation to a private sale, but in practice, what this means is that whenever you put your car into a garage for a service, you have no comeback if you don't get your car back at the end of it. In an even more odd scenario, the chief of police could get his assistant to park his car, and if said assistant just drives off into the sunset, the chief of police has no comeback because he "entrusted" the car to the assistant.

The police (and the insurance companies) are themselves far from uninterested in this sort of "theft", but their hands are tied by the law. I have it from the horse's mouth that there is one rogue dealer who is well known to the police for precisely this scam. They've had him in court about 4 times but can't get anything to stick.
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  #28  
Old 16.11.2013, 15:42
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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It is an unfortunate quirk of Swiss law that if you hand over the key and the grey card, you have "entrusted" the car to the other person and it is therefore not theft if they waltz off with it. Worse still, if they then sell it to someone else and pocket the money, and the third party buys it "in good faith", then it's a done deal and you're out of pocket. In this situation, even if you can prove you have not received any consideration for the car, nobody can get done for receiving stolen goods.

It's one thing to castigate people for stupidity in relation to a private sale, but in practice, what this means is that whenever you put your car into a garage for a service, you have no comeback if you don't get your car back at the end of it. In an even more odd scenario, the chief of police could get his assistant to park his car, and if said assistant just drives off into the sunset, the chief of police has no comeback because he "entrusted" the car to the assistant.

The police (and the insurance companies) are themselves far from uninterested in this sort of "theft", but their hands are tied by the law. I have it from the horse's mouth that there is one rogue dealer who is well known to the police for precisely this scam. They've had him in court about 4 times but can't get anything to stick.
I don't believe it's a quirk of Swiss law, it's the same anywhere in the world. If something is stolen it's taken without permission.
If you leave your house unlocked or the keys in the door don't expect any insurance pay out, the burglars near to 'force their way in' not walk through an open door. You need to take reasonable care, than means closing doors & windows.

You pay a premium based on a risk, imagine how much more they would be if theft was covered when leaving the keys in the ignition...... I believe insurers have no wish to cover such stupid acts, nothing to do with their hands covered by law. ( the law does not prevent them coving such situations )
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  #29  
Old 16.11.2013, 16:13
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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He would report it as stolen. The law is that one has to have the grey book when driving the car. Thought most people kept their grey book along with their driving licence on them
I doubt it very much. "Most' people simply leave it in the glove box along with the manual and all the other related documentation.

As for the OP - sympathies of course, but really, letting someone drive away with your car without handing any money over for it is just... well, I don't want to insult anyone, but really, no-one with half a brain should even need to think about whether this is a good or bad idea.
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  #30  
Old 16.11.2013, 16:32
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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[/LIST]

Sorry, I'm not trying to add insult to injury, but for me this is the first rule of selling a car privately. You always accompany on the test drive. Don't hand over the keys until you're both in the car, and ask that they be handed back the second you're finished with the test drive.

[/INDENT]
Had I not been thousands of miles away, that is how it would have been handled. Didn't know the car registration could be used to re-register.... I expected to have to sign a formal transfer of ownership document (title transfer). Lessons learned the in the hardest way.....
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Old 16.11.2013, 16:40
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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So you handed the car over to someone who was not the legal owner to sell it who in turn let someone drive it without accompanying them who then didnt pay and had the papers for the car. This trick for stealing cars has been around for years and is global stunt pulled on amateur sellers

The new guy has the papers and is in the best position to prove ownership now.

Surely it would not have been hard to walk up to a garage and sell it prior to leaving even if you accepted less for a fire sale. You basically gave the car away and most insurance companies globally wouldnt pay for this crazy act.
The seller is someone I trusted, and the fire sale price was ridiculously low. If the car didn't sell for close to the asking price, I was going to ship it back to the States and continue to drive it. I couldn't have anticipated that he would allow someone to drive away. I have sold seven cars myself, and have either rode along or taken colleteral and driver's license from anyone test driving, so I've never had a problem like this.
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  #32  
Old 16.11.2013, 16:45
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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The question that has to be asked is, will the legal fees end up being more than the car is worth.

No, the car is worth about 23,000 CHF. Ugh...
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Old 16.11.2013, 16:47
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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It's not clear the OP will win at all, the 'buyer 's says he paid, he has the car & it's registered in his name.
So it's the co workers word against the 'buyer', the 'buyer' will say the co worker kept the money.

Seems odd the lawyer has not pointed out the chance of success is rather small...
He claims to have "transferred" the funds, and should easily be able to prove that the funds were transferred, even if to an incorrect account. For now, he continues to dodge e-mails and phone calls, and has not provided evidence of said payment.
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Old 16.11.2013, 16:51
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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No, the car is worth about 23,000 CHF. Ugh...
WAS now more like 0.00
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Old 16.11.2013, 16:54
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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Sympathies this has happened to you. I guess we all make mistakes in life & have to learn the hard way.

What I do not understand, after the 1st mistake of letting the Man drive away in the car with keys and documents & neither you or co-worker in the car, you then proceed to negotiate a price without demanding the car back in the meantime?

I would presume within first 24hrs one would have a stronger case for theft.


Theft through deception seems a very hard case to prove, your word, your co-worker's word, the Man's word.

We sold a car in Switzerland, had off street parking for it. gave back the plates and got the grey book cancelled. Advertised it on internet sites.
Buyer views one day with friends. Phones and says will come the next day to buy. We were expecting him to come with money and leave on the parking spot for a few days to arrange the plates. Instead comes with thing on back of friend's car to load it up. Gave us the cash, he got the key & cancelled grey book.

Wonder what the system in Texas is?
Co-worker called the individual the same day demanding return, and filed with the police after speaking with the individual a couple of times over the next two days. Then all went quiet. Lessons learned... I hope that someone reads this post and it saves them from a similar situation. In Texas, the buyer and seller must sign paperwork, and we do NOT carry the Vehicle Title (ownership document, separate from registration) in the car. The title must be signed over to the buyer, and a Title transfer document must be filed with the local tax office.
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  #36  
Old 16.11.2013, 17:03
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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Co-worker called the individual the same day demanding return, and filed with the police after speaking with the individual a couple of times over the next two days. Then all went quiet. Lessons learned... I hope that someone reads this post and it saves them from a similar situation. In Texas, the buyer and seller must sign paperwork, and we do NOT carry the Vehicle Title (ownership document, separate from registration) in the car. The title must be signed over to the buyer, and a Title transfer document must be filed with the local tax office.
We don't have a vehicle title document in Switzerland. It's just who the car is registered to.
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Old 16.11.2013, 17:58
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

The OP has all my sympathies. This can happen to all of us.

As ipoddle pointed it out: you can easily change the ownership of a car in Switzerland.

It's about time that Switzerland introduces some kind of American style certificate of ownership for vehicules (Eigentumsurkunde/Acte de propriété).

In United States and many other countries you have:

- Car title (Fahrzeugbrief/titre de propriété) that you should keep in a safe deposit box
- the registration card (Fahrzeugausweis/carte grise) that you usually keep in your car
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  #38  
Old 16.11.2013, 18:27
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

For 23k I would have been on the first flight back to Basel to personally collect either the money or the car by any means necessary.
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  #39  
Old 16.11.2013, 18:32
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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He would report it as stolen. The law is that one has to have the grey book when driving the car. Thought most people kept their grey book along with their driving licence on them
You didnt get the hint/ suggestion that mr Marco could simply put the car elsewhere and claim othetwise
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Old 17.11.2013, 00:50
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Re: Warning to car owners - theft

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Public implied threats of violence (even from across the pond) are not a good idea.
I agree - better directly act and immediately cross the border. The thug lives in Basel after all.

In my previous life I knew somebody who decided he would not be paying rent to his elderly landlady anymore, even though he had enough money. Then he had to learn (the hard way!) there were people in certain areas of Naples who had much less bureaucratic approach than the Italian legal system to solving such disputes.
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