Buying a car? Find out if it’s stolen — for free

News Center 7?s Josh Jackson explains how this free VINcheck service will help car buyers and help recover stolen vehicles.

BEAVERCREEK — A new crime prevention tool can protect consumers from unwittingly buying stolen vehicles — and the best part is that it’s free.

News Center 7's Josh Jackson explains how this free VINcheck service will help car buyers and help recover stolen vehicles.

“I’ve done a lot of car buying and selling and sometimes it’s pretty sketchy,” Cam Krull of Beavercreek said.

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Many people buy cars from private owners, sometimes going through websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to find their next vehicle.

Sometimes, those cars can turn out to be stolen.

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.