By on September 13, 2017

Pontiac Silverdome in 2006

Dozens of recalled Volkswagen diesels have vanished from the Silverdome parking lot in Pontiac, Michigan, over past last week. The stadium was once home to the Detroit Lions and monster truck rallies. Now defunct, it has been converted into a makeshift purgatory for thousands of emission-cheating VW and Audi-branded autos waiting to be fixed and resold.

Michigan authorities are working with out-of-state police to track down over 60 stolen vehicles. Roughly a dozen of the missing cars were located at an auction lot in Clarksville, Indiana, last Friday. Those recovered units have laid the groundwork for how the police are handling the investigation. 

“They were given fake titles, Michigan titles, and that’s how they were transported out of state,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodin told the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday. “And that’s how they were being sold, they had bogus titles on them.”

Volkswagen has been keeping track of the vehicles they are buying back. So, when specific vehicle identification numbers starting showing up again in their system, they knew something was amiss. However, by the time someone could do an assessment of the stadium lot, many more had disappeared.

Nine more cars were located in Hardin County, Kentucky, this week — six Passats and three SUVs, according to WDRB-Louisville. “The Oakland County Police Department made contact with Kentucky State Police vehicle investigations because there had been some titles that had been fraudulently attempted to bring into Kentucky,” said Sgt. Jason Morris, public information officer for the Kentucky State Police. “This is not only a multi-county, but multi-state investigation right now.”

More vehicles have cropped up since but authorities have not released any detailed information on how the cars arrived out of state. Likewise, no known charges have been filed, nor have there been any arrests made in relation to the thefts.

A spokesperson from Volkswagen said the company was unable to comment on the ongoing investigation.

(Image: Dave Hogg/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)]

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27 Comments on “Recalled Diesel Volkswagens and Audis Stolen from Silverdome Storage...”

  • avatar

    Crime in Pontiac, Michigan? Say it ain’t so.

    My hat is off to the thieves.

  • avatar

    Gone in 60 days?

  • avatar

    Looting cars? Now, that’s something to behold!

  • avatar

    I could have sworn that stadium was bulldozed years ago.

  • avatar

    Car thieves need the horse thief treatment. One and done.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s right. Our lives are exactly like the middle ages right now, so certainly we need to re-institute those methods of fighting crime.

    • 0 avatar

      For an armed carjacker, especially if he causes injury, I might go along with that. But in this case the indifference of the vehicles’ owner invited thefts. Nobody got hurt here and given the dubious future for many of those cars it’s not much of an outrage. I wonder how many radios, wheels, etc have disappeared in that lot. And if a VW diesel is up for sale at an auction when its owner could most likely get more for it by selling it back to VW, I would certainly be suspicious.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    On a somewhat related subject, is there a national database containing the serial numbers of cars that were declared totaled by insurers of flood damaged vehicles in Texas and Florida?
    Tens of thousands of flood totaled vehicles will be entering the markets soon. It will make the numbers here look trivial.

  • avatar

    Pure Michigan!

  • avatar

    It wasn’t me. I had nothing to do with this!

  • avatar

    We reported on the story of a Michigan State Trooper that was prosecuted for what appears to have been some kind of title scheme involving certifying salvage cars as road worthy.

    It will be interesting to see just how the bogus Michigan titles were generated, if they were complete forgeries, or if there was some official misconduct involved.

  • avatar

    old photo. the Canadian slumlord who owns it now let the roof collapse and the place is a soaked, moldy s**thole.

    Thanks, Canada.

  • avatar

    Cars, stolen in the Detroit area? Shocked!

  • avatar

    If I buy back the car that VW bought back, can I get them to buy it back again?

  • avatar

    And as an aside…this story illustrates the bizarro-world that is the NFL.

    Perfectly decent stadiums left to rot (like this one, and the one in St. Louis, and the one in San Diego…and there will soon be yet another in Oakland) because…why?

    Meanwhile, we have owners who pay players seven figures so they can abuse their wives and girlfriends in style, and then threaten to fire ones who dare to have a political opinion.

    (For the record, don’t bring Kaepernick into this…the guy’s not playing because he was never that great to begin with.)

    And Brock Osweiler’s back in Denver, which is probably Peak Bizarro.

    Too f**king weird.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The owners pay players seven figures because the paying public has an insatiable demand for sports (and gasoline, BTW), and they will pay anything to get it. Frankly, the public doesn’t care about the conduct of its sports figures (or celebrities in general), because their entertainment value surpasses all else.

      You’ve seen “Gladiator”, right? Today’s culture is the same.

      On your points about stadiums (stadii?), I agree. Pittsburgh has been the recipient of *3* new sports venues in the last 17 years.

      • 0 avatar

        I must agree. I watched S2 of Last Chance U (Netflix – totally addicting) where this season’s Quarterback De’andre Johnson completely decks a female college student at a bar on video for the offense of getting in his way. He was 17. For this, he lost his spot at Florida State. You watch the East Mississippi staff completely convinced that this just COULD NOT be the same person, and they MUST SAVE HIM! Even their single female academics counselor. The amount of willful denial is amazing, considering that to this day he refuses to admit culpability. In his mind, she deserved it.

        As long as you are genetically gifted, you have to go pretty darned far to get in trouble for things that would put the rest of us slobs in the jail system for a long, long time.

        • 0 avatar

          What bothers me is the inconsistency of it all.

          Ray Rice beats his wife up on camera, and he’s out of football forever. Greg Hardy does the same thing and ends up with a check for $11 million.

          Colin Kaepernick makes a racial statement people don’t like, and he’s unemployed. Richie Incognito gets caught on tape dropping the n-bomb on one of his teammates, and he gets $15 million.

          It all crosses racial, ethnic and political lines, and makes very, very little sense.

          (And frankly, Kaepernick may be overrated, and he may even be locker room poison, but the fact that Brock Osweiler – BROCK FREAKIN’ OSWEILER – has a job and Kapernick can’t even get an audition, much less a job, just bolsters the “Kaepernick’s a victim of bigotry” argument, even if he isn’t. Someone needs to give the guy a shot for the good of the sport.)

  • avatar

    This is one for dumb crook news.

  • avatar

    Why would VW care? The insurance money is far more than they will get out of all the expenses for these cars. They should “encourage” thieves to steal them all.

    Or what they should have done in the first place. Stripped the cars, and sold the parts.

  • avatar

    So much stupid here.

    I have neighbors with security cameras to watch for people stealing $1.37 in change overnight from their unlocked cars, but apparently VW didn’t point a single camera at this erstwhile holding area?

    I hope VW gets billed for the costs incurred by the various local agencies that will have to track these cars down.

    Also, it seems pretty likely that someone is eventually going to get caught and go to jail for this… It would seem like the smarter thing to have done would have been to ship them to Mexico or the middle east where it’s unlikely they would wind up cross-referenced and detected.

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