But now there's a database of stolen vehicles across the country, and it's free to access on the National Insurance Crime Bureau website.
Users simply enter the Vehicle Identification Number of the car they plan to buy, and it will indicate whether it’s been reported stolen.
“Sometimes cars do come up missing or are stolen. It’s still a common thing from someone to steal a vehicle from another jurisdiction and dump it out here,” Mark Brown of the Beavercreek Police Department said.
Brown recommends that people make use of the database.
However, if a vehicle is determined to be stolen, he said it’s important to notify the local police department.