PONTIAC (WWJ) – An investigation is underway after multiple recalled Volkswagen diesel vehicles were stolen from the Pontiac Silverdome parking lot.
Initially reported by WDRB, in Louisville, Kentucky, 32 cars stolen from where they had been stored outside the shuttered Oakland County arena have been tied to an auto auction house.
According to Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodin, they had been given fake Michigan titles and shipped out of state. “They were brought to southern Indiana and Kentucky,” he told the TV station. “… We know at least 60 of them were missing.”
Some of the stolen cars were sold at auction and ended up back on the road — until their VIN numbers started showing up again in Volkswagen’s computer system, alerting officials to the problem.
Federal authorities are trying to track down the cars’ new owners, who no idea their vehicles were stolen, who will lose their cars and likely won’t get their money back. It’s unclear at this time how many cars were taken in total.
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Auto Theft Unit is part of the investigation in Michigan, according to Undersheriff Mike McCabe. He told WWJ’s Ron Dewey they’re on the case and more information will be released at a later time.
Volkswagen, the federal government and attorneys last year reached a deal for the automaker to spend just over $1 billion to compensate owners of about 600,000 diesel-powered cars that cheat on emissions tests. Hundreds of repurchased VWs were stored outside the former home of the Detroit Lions — a peculiar sight to see since the lot had been mostly empty since it closed for good in 2013.
Pontiac officials later took the owners of the property to court, saying they did not have the property permits and security to park the cars there. Demolition of the Silverdome is expected to be complete by the end of this year.