Family’s SUV crushed without their permission

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A young couple says their '93 Suburban was towed and sold to a scrap yard illegally.

Now their family keepsakes are gone!

Jamal Lamar said, “I had a little book in there that had my mom's pictures in it. My mom died in 2007.”

He says he and his family were kicked out of their place and piled what few belongings they still had to their name into their broken down suburban.

“The car was parked in front of my friend's house,” Jamal said. “We left it there because I was finishing the engine in it. When I came back it was gone.”

We know the city wanted it moved, but OKC Police telling the In Your Corner team they didn't tow Jamal's suburban.

So then who has it?

Jamal got a hot lead it was waiting to be crushed at a Northwest Oklahoma City metal scrap yard, a place that buys junk cars and recycles them.

We wanted to see the suburban for ourselves.

The manager returning to tell us he couldn't show us Jamal's suburban even if he wanted to, because it’s already been crushed.

We asked him about the personal belongings that were inside the vehicle.

“We don't take nothing out of it,” he said. “We crush it with everything.”

We pressed him for more answers, specifically who sold him the suburban.

He said, “The person that we bought the car from is a customer of us.”

Customer Rick Knott owning up to what he calls an honest mistake.

“I didn't steal it,” he said. “I'm really sorry.”

He buys cars for cheap and sells them for a small profit.

The other day he was handling some business next door to where Jamal's suburban was parked, when he says a woman approached him about taking the vehicle off her hands. 

“She came out and asked me if I bought junk cars? I said, ‘Yes ma'am.’ She said, ‘I would like to sell this one.’”

Knott telling the In Your Corner team the woman said she couldn’t find the title, so he took a photo of her ID and had her complete a bill of sale.

He says it's not uncommon for someone to sell him a junk car without a title.

He paid the woman $100.

Unfortunately his cell phone crashed, so he hasn't been able to retrieve the photo of her ID. 

Jamal is left wondering how it can be so easy for someone to sell a car with so little documented proof.

The In Your Corner bottom line:

  • It's perfectly legal if the car is older than a 2008 model, like Jamal's suburban. 
  • A title or registration or notarized bill of sale is only required on newer cars.

Rick says he feels awful.

“I'm just sorry about the car,” he said. “If there's anything I can do I will.”

He says he’ll "probably" require a title from now on.

Meanwhile Jamal and family are trying to figure out what to do next.

“It's hard for us,” he said. “I have to ask my mother in law for transportation.”

Rick says he was in the process of filing the Certificate of Ownership with the Oklahoma Tax Commission, although we checked with that agency.

A spokesperson tells the In Your Corner team it's highly unlikely they'll approve his request.  

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