Why does this keep happening?
With car theft at high levels in many parts of North America, more shoppers need to watch out for the risk of buying a stolen vehicle. Even if you’re cautious and go through a dealership, like one man in Atlanta did, you could still end up with the wrong kind of hot ride.
Watch a street racer take himself down for the police here.
According to WSB-TV in Georgia, a recent college graduate purchased an Audi A6 from a local dealership, only for police to later take it. The guy had been keeping up with the payments, had all the paperwork, and even was able to register the sedan with the state. However, the guy and his mother didn’t realize that meant the vehicle was in fact his.
Car thieves are getting pretty sneaky about hiding the fact a vehicle has been stolen, with car dealerships falling for the scams more often than most people would like to believe. This means you could purchase a car off a lot, register it with the state, and then one day have it seized as stolen property.
While the kid who had the Audi didn’t get into any legal trouble, he still lost the vehicle, which had been stolen in Ohio. Understandably, the rightful owner wanted it back. After all, anyone whose car was stolen would want it returned after it was found.
As the report points out, the Audi didn’t show up in the Georgia state database as stolen even though it had been reported as such in Ohio. This is partly why many thieves will transport a boosted car to another part of the country with the hopes the stolen vehicle report doesn’t catch up before they can offload it on someone through legitimate means.
In this situation, the guy who bought the Audi through legal means was left high and dry. The car dealership and finance company wouldn’t help in any way, choosing instead to keep his money even though he was sold a stolen vehicle.
When a reporter showed up at the dealership to ask questions, the manager simply stated the business followed state guidelines to be sure the Audi wasn’t stolen. However, the guy who bought the car from them said the dealership stated his being out of a vehicle and his money wasn’t their problem and that he should probably get a lawyer because they weren’t going to make the situation right. And dealerships wonder why they have an image issue.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo was threatening the guy for not continuing to make payments on the stolen Audi. After some scary communications, everything was straightened out and the bank will be returning the man’s money and deleting any negative items from his credit report. We think he’s pretty lucky to have it straightened out without a legal battle.
We’ve seen this type of situation before and know how different states deal with stolen vehicle reports, especially from other states, varies. One big takeaway is that legislatures need to do more work on closing up the cracks which allow cars like this to be sold and registered legally.