CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A Clayton County car dealership accused of selling stolen cars has a long history of violations with state regulators.
Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland tipped off state investigators to the latest troubles for Cabs Auto Connection on Forest Parkway in Lake City, leading a raid at the business Wednesday.
"It actually came about from a tip we received from WSB-TV. Everything was accurate and we were able to get on it right away," Georgia State Revenue Investigator Josh Waites said.
Strickland showed state investigators information he had obtained about a stolen Bentley suddenly registered with the dealership's temporary tag.
Strickland was there as state and local investigators arrested the dealership’s manager Austin Siampwizi.
“Can you explain why hundreds of temporary tags were printed at this dealership?” Strickland asked as police escorted Siampwizi into the back of a police cruiser.
Investigators told Strickland they found hundreds of temporary tags printed in the past six months, including three sets that wound up on stolen cars.
“There's going to be a lot of dealers that are going to find their cars hopefully before they have to file for insurance and lose money,” state auto fraud specialist Barry Bannister told Strickland.
The Bentley is still missing but agents did find a high-end Mercedes that was reported stolen in Atlanta three days ago.
“It just reinforces the fact this is one of the bad actors in the industry,” Waites said.
Waites told Strickland that he expects customers to come forward reporting multiple temporary tags but no paperwork to truly register their cars.
“We're going to issue a citation through the Department of Revenue eliminating their ability to sell cars,” Waites said.
The state is also working with local authorities to see if any of the stolen cars in this case have been used as get away vehicles in other crimes.
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