9/21/2014

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KATU Investigators

Man buys car from dealership, then police tell him it's reported stolen

Man buys car from dealership, then police tell him it's reported stolen

PORTLAND, Ore. – When Khue Lee went to buy a car it seemed like a typical transaction.

Lee bought the 2007 Subaru Outback from Rustom Nissan of Portland, which is owned by parent company Broadway Toyota. He had been making payments on the car like normal.

Then last Thursday police officers showed up at his house and towed away his car. They said the car was reported stolen in Idaho.

“My daughter opened the door and told me the police is here and said you have a stolen car,” Lee said.

Lee and an officer went to dealership, but Lee said employees there told him he was still on the hook for payments until police and the DMV sorted the issue out. Lee said he shouldn’t have to pay for a car that he no longer had.

“They treat me like a criminal,” Lee said. “The dealer, they treat me like a criminal. They don’t want to deal with me, nothing.”

That’s when Lee called KATU for help.

We spent part of the day on the phone with the managers at Broadway Toyota, Rustom’s parent company. They apologized for Lee’s troubles and promised they would refund him for everything he’s put into the car.

According to the original police report and the DMV, a man in Idaho reported his son’s car stolen. But in reality the son was on the title and was able to sell the car to a dealership there.

The car was then sent to auction and bought by the dealership here in Portland. The dealership then sold it to Lee.

Managers at the dealership told Lee they didn’t know the car was reported stolen because of a miscommunication with the auction. They would not discuss with us about why they didn’t know the car was reported stolen.

Lee said he’ll be fine, but believes the dealership could have treated him better.

“I wish this could happen earlier, the day that they knew they sold me a stolen car.”

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