ONLY ON KRON4: East Bay thieves use stolen car to drive for Lyft

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LIVERMORE (KRON) — A couple in the East Bay got the good news that their brand new car, which had been stolen, was recovered months later.

But the bad news is it appears somebody was using that stolen car to drive for Lyft.

It was Lyft stickers on the car, of course, that tipped off the owners. And there is the fact that the car had thousands of miles more on the odometer in just a short amount of time.

Cierra and Joshua Barton got a brand new Honda earlier this year.

It was so new that it still had paper dealership plates on it when, on a weekend in August, Cierra couldn’t find the car in their apartment complex parking lot.

“The panic set in a little bit,” Cierra said. “I ran back upstairs to talk to my husband and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, the car is gone!'”

Unfortunately, a stolen car isn’t so unusual nowadays, but what was strange is that the Bartons got a call from Hayward police on Monday, telling them their car had been found and was in a Hayward tow yard.

They didn’t know what to expect to see almost four months after the car vanished.

“It’s probably stripped or burned or something crazy like that, and when we showed up in the tow yard, it had Lyft stickers on it,” Cierra said.

It also had 11,000 more miles on the odometer.

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“Whoever was driving actually did have a collision,” Joshua said.

There’s now some damage to the hood and underneath it.

Operationally, though the car seems fine, which the Bartons say makes everything worse.

Someone was using it very regularly in plain sight and didn’t get caught.

“How did somebody pass a background check with my make and model of the car that’s registered to me and was successfully driving around, and able to actually make a profit?” Joshua said.

Lyft’s terms of service for drivers on their website state that Lyft drivers must represent, warrant, and agree that they either own or have the legal right to drive the car they use for work.

What probably helped the thief is that the Bartons’ car didn’t have the official, metal license plates yet.

They noticed there were paper plates from a different dealership on the front and back when they picked it up.

KRON4 has been in contact with a member of Lyft’s communication team.

They are working on tracking down this specific case to see if they can provide any information on what happened.

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