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.