We've heard many stories about people falling victim to Craigslist scams, and either losing their possessions or their cash.
But when Des Moines Police got two 911 calls of the same scam Wednesday, they set up a sting.
The car ads appeared on Craiglist and another used goods site called Letgo for a 2003 Toyota Echo, with a new transmission and brakes.
The seller wrote "my mom rarely drives" it.
"I contact him and I said you available? The car still available?" said 23-year-old Rithy Sann.
San met the seller to check out the car Wednesday night.
"I want to take the car for a test drive," said Sann. "He said, 'No I want the money first. My mom asks for safety.' So I gave [the money] to him."
"At the end of the test drive, the suspect would tell the buyer, 'Hey let's go look at something in the trunk.' And as soon as the potential buyer got out of the car he would jump into the driver seat cash in hand," said Commander Doug Jenkins with Des Moines Police.
Jenkins said one buyer lost $500. Sann lost $700.
So late Wednesday night, Des Moine Police contacted the seller and set up a sting to meet him at Red Robin.
The driver in the Echo showed up. When police moved in for the arrest, he led them on a chase.
By the time police caught him, the car had lost a tire and sideswiped another car during the pursuit.
"Our officers could have taken the report and been done with it," said Jenkins. "But they took the initiative to actually contact this guy and basically set it up. So we give our officer all the credit in the world."
So does Sann, who is surprised and thankful to have the chance to get back his stolen cash.
"It means a lot," said Sann. "One paycheck. Two weeks working."
Police say the Craiglist con was just 18 years old, who was booked on felony eluding and will likely face two gross misdemeanor charges of theft.
The one thing he was telling the truth about was that the car did indeed belong to his mom, who had no idea what her son was using the Toyota for.