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Man busted in connection with Kent Police stolen car case receives 9-month sentence

A Vancouver man, tracked down after Kent Police pulled over two men in a stolen car, received a nine-month prison sentence for his role in a scheme to steal cars in Oregon, create fake title documents and sell the vehicles to Washington customers on Internet sites.

Duc Long Tran Vu, 26, was sentenced May 30 in U.S. District Court, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office media release.

Vu, a former University of Washington engineering student, was involved in at least two sales of stolen cars, according to court documents. He took a 2007 Volvo XC 90 right out of the driveway of a Portland home and sold it via Craigslist to a couple in Tacoma. The couple took precautions – examining the title, checking the VIN number and getting Vu’s identification when they met him in a public place. Still, when they went to transfer title they discovered the car had been reported stolen. The couple was out $15,000.

In a second incident, two Seattle brothers were stopped by Kent Police in a 1998 Honda Civic that had been stolen in Oregon and advertised on Craigslist. Not knowing whether the brothers were involved in the theft, police did a felony stop – ordering the men out of the car with guns drawn.

The brothers had made a cellphone video of the man who sold them the car and took a photo of his identification. Police were able to identify Vu even though the identification used a fake name. The stolen car was returned to the owner.

The FBI, the Washington State Patrol and the Kent Police investigated the Vu case.

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