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Bogus hauler steals luxury cars from dealerships

Donna Harris
Automotive News
December 2, 2009 - 1:18 pm ET

The FBI confirms it is investigating a bogus car hauler who has stolen at least a dozen luxury vehicles from auto dealerships in several states.

FBI spokesman Ross Rice, in the agency's Chicago region, refused to discuss details of the pending case.

The National Auto Auction Association issued an alert to dealers and auctions the week before Thanksgiving warning that a thief or group of thieves stole the identity of a legitimate hauler, Atlas Towing and Recovery of Illinois. .

"If anyone does attempt to pick up (vehicle) releases using this company name, notify local law enforcement immediately," the alert says.

Alan Walker, director of security for Manheim Auto Auctions, said he believes the recent thefts are related to a similar transporter scam that occurred at an auction during the summer. Thieves posed as a hauler authorized to deliver vehicles to dealers who bought them at an online auction, he says. The thieves accessed data on the vehicles and the dealerships using the Internet.