ATLANTA – Over the weekend, a Marietta woman’s recently-purchased car was impounded after police told her it was listed as stolen from Atlanta.
On Feb. 16, Crystal Wilkinson tried to get a tag for the 2011 black Nissan Maxima she put a down-payment on for $5,000 back in January. But that's when they told her the car had been reported stolen and that they would have to take the car.
"I was darn near in tears," she told 11Alive's Chris Hopper.
But as it turns out, the original owner of the car said that’s not the case.
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11Alive reached out to the original owner of the Nissan who reported the vehicle stolen from his home on Oct. 26, 2017. A few days later, he got it back, after he learned someone he knew took it. The owner did not want to be identified, but told 11Alive after he learned the car wasn’t stolen, he immediately alerted Atlanta police.
The owner said he called the APD investigator and left a voicemail to say the car wasn’t stolen and to take it off the registry. After never hearing back from the investigator, he assumed it was off the list.
He later sold it to a dealership and never heard about the sedan again until Friday, when he got a call from police informing him that they found his stolen car. He told them he didn’t have a stolen car and that he had sold it in 2017.
Now Wilkinson, who bought the Nissan from E-Z Auto Finance in Marietta, is caught in the middle of a mess not of her own making, out of thousands of dollars.
"I have to go to work, I have children to take places, I have things to do, you know I'm a mother, I need a car," she told 11Alive.
E-Z Auto Finance told 11Alive it's checks into the car's background never flagged it as stolen. They said they would give Wlkinson her down payment back, but when she went there Tuesday afternoon, they just reimbursed her for a week of renting a car. In the meantime, the office claimed it would work to get the car she originally bough out of the impound.
11Alive reached out to Atlanta police for a comment and had not heard from them at the time this story was published.