I *really* don't understand the process where they could be stolen. Could someone please explain it?
Someone ran TV ads saying "I run a car exchange. Send me your money and I will send you a car some day. Or send me your car and I will send you some money some day."
People sent their cars and money. At first, the company appeared to be doing business normally, and with an expected markup. People would send them a car worth $10000 and they'd get back a check for $9000. Or they would send $10000 cash and get back a car worth $9000. It looked fairly reasonable as long as you didn't ever read anything that company's founder ever wrote, where he seemed kind of thoughtless or foolish about both money and cars. But hey, life is complicated and it takes all types.
One day, people noticed they would send $10000 cash and instead of getting a $9000 car, they would get a note saying, "oops, your car isn't ready yet. Hang on." Some of those people would say "ok, give me my $10000 back," and the company would say "Um, we're having computer problems. We've sort of forgotten who has sent us money and got a car in return, and who hasn't. Give us a few months to sort it out. You know how computer problems are. Please bear with us!"
Then one day the company closed, while they still had a bunch of peoples' cars and cash, that they never gave back. The cars and cash are somewhere, but not in the possession of the people who sent them. The person who has them, is considered to be a thief.
Then people read the news story and said "See? This proves that car technology doesn't work."