Dealership Sics Cops On Customer For Stealing A Car After Losing Loaner Agreement

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Dealership Sics Cops On Customer For Stealing A Car After Losing Loaner Agreement

Taking your car in for service is always a pain. It’s even worse when the dealer needs to keep your car, and hands you a loaner — sure, it gets you to work and back, but you need to re-pair your phone and re-save all your radio stations. Worst of all, though, is when the dealer mistakenly reports that loaner as stolen and you’re swarmed by a dozen armed cops, all threatening to fire on you.

That’s what happened to Jamie Rodgers, who brought his car in to Car Pros Kia Hunting Beach in California back in 2021. The dealer gave him a Kia Sportage loaner, then reported it stolen. The Orange County Register has the story:

Rodgers, the 39-year-old father of two small children, finally pulled over, still thinking that maybe the police were after some criminal hiding in the brush along the freeway. But looking through his rear-view mirror, he noticed the police cars had stopped and about a dozen officers were out, pointing their service weapons and rifles in his direction.

Then came the words through a police loudspeaker: “You are considered armed and dangerous. Do exactly as I say or you could be shot.”

As it turned out, Rodgers was driving a loaner vehicle that Car Pros Kia Huntington Beach had mistakenly reported stolen. The report caught the attention of the Orange County Auto Theft Task Force, which traced the vehicle to Rodgers’ home in Costa Mesa and had it under surveillance all morning.

A deputy told him to pull his shirt up over his head so police could see his waistband. They made him walk backward to them. Slowly. They they took him to the ground, handcuffed him and put him in the back of a patrol car, without explaining why he was being detained.

Officers finally sorted it out. Rodgers had been driving the loaner 2019 Kia Sportage for about two months while his own vehicle was undergoing extensive repairs at the dealership. Rodgers said the dealer had misplaced the loaner contract — apparently it had fallen behind a file cabinet. The dealer received a bill for unpaid tolls, couldn’t find the contract and assumed it must have been stolen, Rodgers said.

Rodgers is now suing the dealership, claiming post-traumatic stress disorder that’s sparked by the presence of police. I, for one, certainly believe that being tackled to the ground by a dozen armed cops threatening your life would be a traumatizing experience.