Quoting @Nevada_545 “I see this on craigs list all the time, “the vehicle was stolen, just needed a new ignition lock”. That would total a car?”
Well, yes it does. I bought a Toyota Corolla several years ago that was in that exact situation. I chisled the old lock out myself. What happens around here when a car is stolen is that the insurance company will pay off once the car is gone for a week. Then, some time later, the car is found. By that time the former owner has moved on and bought another car. They don’t want it or need it back. The insurance company is required by law to get a salvage title, whether or not there was any physical damage to the car.
I’ve also had a car stolen that was handled the same way. The theif broke in and stole the keys too, so there was no need to replace the switch, but it was still a “totalled” car.
It is sometimes interesting to see what little damage it takes for an insurance company to “total” a car. If the car is more than seven years old, it doesn’t take much. One I’m driving now needed a white door which cost $100 at a salvage yard. It took about half an hour to fix.
As to the OP’s original question, the car may well have been keyed and repainted, although it does sound suspicious. Unfortunately with those miles and a rebuilt salvage title, it’s certainly not worth their asking price. If you really like the car AFTER a thorough inspection by a disinterested party, offer them about $2500 or move on. There are better cars out there, even at $2500.