NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - The DMV is continuing a secret investigation into a Newport News car dealer - Showcase Imports on Jefferson Avenue.
The dealer is now closed down, but an untold number of victims are left trying to figure out what's going on. The DMV has been looking into this case since December, at least. The DMV is not talking about it, so the victims are filling in the gaps.
On Friday night, at least one auto auction company and one financial lender loaded up high-end cars at Showcase Imports and took them away. On Tuesday, the Showcase parking lot was empty.
"I've done everything, but raise hell," said victim Karen Crittenden.
Her car has title and registration issues so she got temporary tags for four months. You are allowed two months of temporary tags. The last temporary tag expires on February 29. Of course, there is no February 29 this year. As of now, after February 28, Crittenden will not be allowed to drive the car.
Crittenden blames Showcase Imports Vice President Janice Parker and President Virgil Williams. We called on them, but neither got back in touch with us. Crittenden claims when she wanted to verify legitimate ownership, she got the run-around from Parker. "A lot of times I had to come up here because they would leave me on hold. When I came up she would talk to me."
Crittenden's lucky she at least has her car. One guy in the parking lot who does not want to be identified had his car taken off the lot Friday after paying $24,000 for a 2004 Jaguar. That's a good price, but now he doesn't have the car.
This is all the DMV would say about the investigation. "There is an active, criminal investigation ongoing in regards to Showcase Imports. No charges have been filed, no arrests made, so no further information is available right now... a timeframe for the investigation is unknown," wrote DMV Public Relations and Media Manager Melanie Stokes.
DMV checked out Crittenden's car, and at least she got to keep it, suggesting it's right for her to have it, "He [the DMV agent] came out and checked the VIN number, and said he would be in contact if we haven't heard anything else."
10 On Your Side went to Janice Parker's home. She wasn't there and didn't call us. We did find Virgil Williams' father who owns a car lot down the street from his son. The Dad said he loves his son, and stands by him during these tough economic times. He also said he and his son have met with the DMV investigator.
Which raises the question - how long has the DMV known about title and registration problems at Showcase Imports? And how many more victims became victims after DMV was aware there was a potential problem? Did DMV do enough to protect the public? Those answers will follow as the investigation becomes more public.
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