An arrest has been made in the murder of a Fairfield, CA teen responding to an advertisement on Offer Up to purchase a vehicle. Michael Vincent Lopretta was identified as the victim by CBS 13 news, which stated the family came forward for the story. Lopretta regularly bought and sold used cars to flip for a profit, so this transaction was nothing new. Until he met the seller Kamaria Strange, 24, of San Pablo, who robbed and murdered Lopretta.
Below is a quote from CBS 13:
On Thursday just after noon, Fairfield Police Dispatch received a call of a man down in the 1000 block of Tyler Street. Fairfield Police and Fire went to the address and found a 19-year-old suffering male who had been shot, according to a police department statement. The next day, following their investigation, police arrested Kamaria Strange, 24, of San Pablo. She was booked into the Solano County Jail on the charge of homicide. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon. The parents of the victim identified him to CBS13 as Michael Vincent Lopretta. His parents say Michael had saved his money to buy a car. He responded to a cash-for-car sale in Fairfield that was posted on OfferUp, and when he arrived at the meeting place, he was robbed and shot, say police. “We’re still trying to figure out why there why that particular location, because it’s a really busy little neighborhood. It didn’t make any sense as to why there, but never really makes sense,” said Mike Lopretta, Lopretta’s father. His mother, Jessica, said he was excited about buying the car. Lopretta regularly bought and flipped cars, so this sale was nothing new. He did his research, according to his family, and saved his money for two years to afford the $9,000 price tag on the listing. The car was a 2013 black BMW 528, and it was the most expensive car Lopretta had ever bought to flip. “He loved it. There was a thrill of showing up with a car,” said Jessica Treat, Lopretta’s mother. She said he met with the seller, identified in the OfferUp listing shared with CBS13 by Treat, as Kamaria Strange, the day before police say Strange shot and killed him. “He had said that he went out there the day before to go look at the car and that they were totally friendly to him,” said Treat. Lopretta graduated from Benicia High School in June and had a plan for what came next. He was going to buy a new car, save money to get a place with his girlfriend and work towards becoming a history teacher. It was a career choice, Treat said, was particularly special to him.
Purchasing vehicles should be a safe process but classified apps can be a dangerous place. Lopretta will be remembered for being an ambitious student who had a lot of potential ahead of him.