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Car bought at Evansville dealership turns out to be stolen from New York

Car bought at Evansville dealership turns out to be stolen from New York
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 1:05 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A Princeton man says the car he recently bought from an Evansville dealership was picked up by Indiana State Police.

Neal Bailey bought a used 2019 Honda Accord in August of 2021. On Monday, he got a call from Indiana State Police, saying it may have been stolen before he bought it. On Tuesday morning, investigators went to his home to make sure.

He says it was hard to believe the situation was real.

“This isn’t really happening, is it?” said Neal. “The realization didn’t set in until I think after.”

Afterward, investigators confirmed the car was stolen, and hauled it away in a tow truck. This left Neal in a bind, since having a car available is crucial for him and his family.

“Very important to have a car, and right now we have a 9-year-old, my step son, he’s going to physical therapy for his leg every day of the week,” said Neal. “And I cannot leave my wife at home with him with no car.”

An official with D-Patrick Honda, where Neal bought the car, says he’s never seen anything like it in his 35 years in business.

He said he believes the car was stolen in New York, where it was given a fake VIN number and a title matching that number. The car then moved through multiple legitimate channels before getting to Neal.

D-Patrick reimbursed Neal what he paid and then sold him his new car. Neal says the whole ordeal has been a learning experience.

“I’ve learned a lot in the last couple days, a lot about VIN numbers that I didn’t know before,” said Neal.

Officials with Indiana State Police say they don’t want people to panic over this, because incidents like this are extremely rare.

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