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Grand Theft Auto, Not the Game

A Nebraska car dealer vanishes along with 81 vehicles worth millions.

by on Mar.12, 2009

One highly illegal way to move the metal.

One highly illegal way to move the metal.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Police in Nebraska are still trying to sort out the great car heist of 2009 where 81 cars from a Scottsbluff dealer were loaded on transporters and shipped out to Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.

At least 16 Ford and Toyotas models were then sold at auctions. Most were Toyotas. Other cars have been found at the Scottsbluff airport. The search for the balance continues.

Scottsbluff Police Chief Kevin Spencer said that Legacy Auto Sales controller Rachel Fait had been arrested in Utah, along with the owner of the dealership, Allen Patch. The dealership’s general manager, Rick Covello, turned himself in to Scottsbluff Police.

The heist apparently started over the weekend. On Tuesday morning a dealership employee returned to work after taking Monday off and found the lot almost empty and the desks of the three cleaned out.

The cars were financed by Toyota Financing, which would hold the titles until the loans are paid back. A worried dealership employee called Toyota, which in turn called the police. If the cars were sold without repaying the finance company it is called selling “out of trust,” a clear violation of franchise requirements, and a felony, as in grand theft auto, the crime.

All the pictures of dealership employees have been removed from the web site of Legacy Auto Sales. Maybe they are waiting for the other mug shots.