The state stepped in and cracked down on a Kansas City business that it said was buying cars it knew were stolen.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, since 2011 hundreds of cars have come and gone off of the lot at Clark's Auto and Tire Service and they shouldn't have. Authorities said the owners, Amado and Alfredo Navarro, knew it.
"I mean, in this stack here is all open titles obtained from one business here in the metro," said Nate Bradley, a corporal at Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Bradley is talking about Clark's Auto that was partially shut down by a temporary restraining order after the Missouri Attorney General's Office accused the business of dealing in stolen cars.
"They're selling these cars or buying these cars from individuals and then they're selling them for recycle, for shred, so the cars don't exist ever again. They're just rendered into a piece of scrap metal about this big (makes hands into about the size of a brick)," Bradley said.
The attorney general said the cars used are obtained illegally and easily.
"A lot of times they'll use a fake notary stamp or they'll superimpose a legit notary stamp onto a forged document. And then they can obtain title documents, lien releases, things of that nature, that they can use to obtain documents to either purchase or sell a vehicle," Bradley said.
Victims in the scam include car owners, insurance companies and title loan companies.
"The person obtained a title loan on one day and the very next day the vehicle was sold to this business and shredded. So they got a title loan and the very next day the car was destroyed. So they've, in a sense, defrauded that creditor out of their ability to collect any collateral because the collateral doesn't exist anymore," Bradley said.
The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office is also included in this investigation in case formal charges come out.
Clark's Auto can still operate its tire business, but that's it. The Missouri Department of Revenue also revoked the business' salvage license so they can't tow cars either.
Another hearing on the restraining order is scheduled for May 27.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:43:54 GMT
Pointing the finger at Republicans for Congressional inaction, President Barack Obama accused them of posturing and doing everything they can to stymie economic growth.More >
Pointing the finger at Republicans for Congressional inaction, President Barack Obama accused them of posturing and doing everything they can to stymie economic growth because they are not happy he is president. More >
Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:50 AM EDT2014-07-29 09:50:38 GMT
Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.More >
Listeria is listed on the the baby's death certificate as an immediate cause of her death. Her mother, says that while she was pregnant, she ate food that was part of a recent, nation-wide Listeria recall.More >
Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:45 AM EDT2014-07-30 11:45:17 GMT
It's not a disease and it's not contagious, but "Invisible Black Dog Syndrome" is a sad, real condition affecting local animal shelters. The term refers to the propensity of would-be-adopters walkingMore >
It's not a disease and it's not contagious, but "Invisible Black Dog Syndrome" is a sad, real condition affecting animal shelters. More >