A Quebec woman says her Audi A4, which she had listed for sale on Facebook Marketplace, was stolen right in front of her eyes during a test drive and then later used in a smash-and-grab through Vaughan Mills mall in Ontario.
Taylor-Anna Kobinger, from Laval, Que., spoke to Global News hours after surveillance video shows a car crashing into the front entrance and driving through a mall just north of Toronto.
Kobinger said she initially put her car up for sale on Saturday evening on Facebook Marketplace, four days before the Vaughan Mills mall break-in early Wednesday.
On Sunday, Kobinger said she received a ton of messages from people who were interested in her black 2011 Audi A4, including one man who wanted to test drive it.
Kobinger agreed to meet the man at a library near her home and said the first test drive went fine. He then wanted to test drive it again, but this time on the highway. She said no because the car had a run-flat tire on, but agreed to go a second time around the block.
That’s when things took a turn.
“He started driving dangerously the second turn,” Kobinger said in an interview over Zoom.
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Kobinger and the man then got out of the vehicle to switch seats when he suddenly got back into the driver’s seat.
“Both our doors were open,” Kobinger said. “He didn’t even have both feet in the car. He had his left leg hanging out and his right leg he just pressed on the gas.”
“Then, he kinked the car so that the doors could close,” she continued. “I tried to catch back the handle, but then I slipped.”
She said that the theft happened in front of a park and in front of a lot of people, and that a couple stopped to help her. They gave her their phone to call police.
Kobinger said her phone was in the car too when the man drove off and when she returned to the scene a short time later her phone was right where she last saw her car.
A few days later, a video released by York Regional Police, shows a black 2011 Audi A4 drive through glass doors at Entrance 6 of Vaughan Mills Mall at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Police said the vehicle had Quebec licence plate X10 SNP.
The video appears to show the car driving around the mall in a series of edited-together camera angles. It then shows the Audi exiting through another set of glass doors at Entrance 1, police said.
York Regional Police Sgt. Clint Whitney said two suspects in the car made their way to an electronics store where they allegedly “broke into the store and then proceeded to take a quantity of electronic devices.”
The video released by police did not show the active break-in of the electronics store.
In an update from police at around 4:40 p.m., investigators said the vehicle had been located and that it would be examined for evidence.
“I haven’t physically seen it. I saw it on camera, in a mall, which was very surprising,” Kobinger said. “I thought it was in a container in the old port of Montreal like all the other cars. Or in pieces.”
Kobinger said York Regional Police called her Wednesday morning, while she was working, and told her that her vehicle was used in a robbery in a mall.
She said she had listed her Audi for sale in order to put money down on a house.
“It hurts because I worked very hard to get that car and I had just put a lot of money into it in order to sell it,” Kobinger said. “And now everything is down the drain. I lost everything.”
“Yes, the car is there. But how much is it going to cost to fix it? If it’s even fixable.”