Calgary Police have laid charges against two men whom they say stole a pair of cars from B.C. and acquired fake identification for them.

The investigation began when Kelowna RCMP informed the CPS in summer 2012 to be on the lookout for two vehicles.

The cars were found and tested where they were determined to have been stolen from B.C. and then re-vinned and registered in Alberta.

Nigel Bruce Huggett, 41, of Calgary, and Benjamin Kristopher Wilken, 30, of Blackfalds, have been charged with possession of stolen property over $5,000.

Police say that the process, called vehicle cloning, is commonly used by criminals to sell stolen vehicles to unsuspecting buyers.

The process involves acquiring a VIN from a car of a similar colour, make, and model and using that to obtain an out of province inspection form.

The inspection form is then presented to a Registry Office with a forged bill of sale to acquire a licence plate and registration.

Police request that consumers ask plenty of questions when they are in the process of buying a used vehicle.

They should:

  • Ask for and take note of government issued identification from the seller
  • Do a Carproof or Carfax check on the vehicle. If the vehicle is showing as being registered in another province or country – ask more questions. If the vehicle is showing salvage or junk title – ask more questions.
  • Look at the public VIN (lower left dashboard) and compare how the VIN looks to another similar vehicle i.e. Ford to Ford.
  • Compare the public VIN to the federal certification label on the driver’s door frame. The VIN should be the same. The decal should not show any signs of peeling.
  • Take the vehicle to a car dealership and have them conduct checks. Take Ford products to Ford dealerships etc.
  • Check the VIN on to see if the vehicle is listed as stolen.