TIADA Dealer Recovers Stolen Car...2 Years Later!
Dealers are always on the lookout for thieves and scammers that try to buy cars via fraud. From using fake identification and pay stubs to bad or stolen checks, dealers have seen it all. Unfortunately, sometimes a dealer or a member of the staff will let their guard down allowing one of these scams to succeed. When one TIADA member in Central Texas realized his dealership fell victim to such a scam, he was certain he had seen his vehicle for the last time. Incredibly, that car was recovered by police, more than two years later. But before he could put the still valuable car back on the lot, he realized he needed TIADA's help to cut through some government red tape. Read more about this incredible story and how the association was able to help him in this blog post.
Mark Brown of Red Carpet Auto Sales was horrified and embarrassed when he learned that his dealership sold a car to a customer using a stolen check.
“Well this took place over two years ago before I bought the company, but it is embarrassing that the former owner allowed that happen,” Brown said. “It was stupid, plain and simple. I can't say it another way.”
The thief claimed the check, which did not have his name on it, belonged to his uncle who signed it over to him.
“It was dumb, there was no way that the deal was going to go through,” Brown added. “To make matters worse, we transferred the title over to him the next week before the check even cleared.”
This would cause problems for Brown later when the car was eventually found. The thief was caught and sent to jail, but the car was not recovered. It was not until two and half years later that police found it being driven by another person. That's when police notified Brown that the car was at an impound lot in San Antonio.
“They made us pay the impound fees, so that was one last swift kick right in the teeth,” Brown said. “I didn't know if I was getting a $50 car or what it's condition was. Once I got the car back, I saw that it was still valuable, but I had no idea what to do with it. We didn't have the title for it. That's when I reached out to TIADA for help.”
TIADA contacted the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles with a request for help for this somewhat unusual situation. Even though the thief was in jail, the vehicle was still titled in his name. After working with agency personnel, the car title was transferred back to Brown's dealership.
“I've been doing this for 37 years and I have never heard of them doing this before,” Brown said. “I am grateful that TIADA was able to help us get this resolved. Because of the relationship, TIADA has with this agency, we are going to be able to do something with this car. We can try to get some money back from this mistake. This just shows the value of TIADA and how they are always looking out for us dealers."