Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Oooh, Barracuda...

#1 Blogdaughter sends in a rather odd story involving a classic muscle car.

1970 Plymouth 'Cuda stolen in 2001 found, but owner can't get it
A 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda reported stolen from a Portland garage 13 years ago was found last month in a local towing yard, but its owner can’t get it back.

KATU reports that Rick White got a letter from Budget Towing a few weeks ago, telling him the car was in storage there, but was about to be auctioned off due to thousands of dollars in unpaid bills.
This isn't the car in question, but it's close. I can see being upset and wanting it returned; I can also see how someone that managed to snag one of these would be reluctant to give it up...

What I'm gathering from the story as presented is that, in Oregon, all that's needed to legally steal a car is to hold onto it for three years after the theft. I mean, that's why they're not giving Mr. White his car back. The storage company located the Whites when the storage facility stopped getting paid, so they were still listed as the owners of the car.

One of the missing pieces, mind you, is *when* the Whites were contacted by the storage company. If they were contacted in the past year or so, that's one thing. If they were contacted in 2003 (i.e. before the statute of limitations ran out), and have been arguing over this for 11 years, that's another story entirely. It's an important piece, and curious that it was omitted from the report.

It's also hard to sympathize with Sitton. If he has any sort of proof that he legally acquired the car, he's not producing it. He does not appear to have registered it, as he cannot produce a title. He claims that the car is not stolen, yet produces nothing to counter the Whites' claim. The only thing I can come up with resides in that three year statute of limitations - i.e., if whoever sold the car to Sitton did so after the statute of limitations expires.

Which brings to mind another question/issue: What's Oregon law on car titles and registration? In MA, you need a title to register any vehicle. In NH, you don't need a title if the car is over a certain age (I think 10 years, but don't quote me). If Oregon is like NH, it's quite possible that Sitton bought the car after the three year statute expired, and didn't need a title for it.

Lots of questions, few answers. 

That is all


Roy said...

"Lots of questions, few answers."

Which, of course, is par for the course with today's "journalists".

I don't get it. Anybody who reads this story would find it interesting and have the same questions as you and I did. Yet the reporter (or editor) is too lazy to even begin to answer them.

Jerry The Geek said...

In Oregon, you are required to register a title transfer within 30 days. There is also a feature in the *online* process which allows you to enter the fact that you have sold the car. That protects the 'former' owner from legal responsibility if (for instance) the new owner incurs a parking ticket.

Essentially, if the "new" owner doesn't have clear title, and the "old" owner hasn't filed a notice of sale, then the original owner is still the owner.

This is, in the parlance of auto-thieves, a "Gotch!"

NotClauswitz said...

We're up in Oregon right now, it's a weird combination of Patchouli and Wookie...with some real strange laws.