Police seize man's truck he paid off years earlierPosted: Updated:
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Martin Auzzenne's driveway is pretty empty these days because the 2002 Ford pickup truck he drove for 5½ years has been confiscated by police.
"This is where I would put my truck before it was taken from me. Not only is it my transportation, but I make my living with that truck."
Back in 2005, Martin purchased an F-150 Harley Davidson Edition pickup truck from a local car lot. He paid about $18,000 and made his monthly payments until the truck was completely paid off years later.
Not long after getting the title to his truck, the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles contacted Martin and said he needed to bring it in for an inspection. Martin was curious, but he did what he was told.
"Within 20 seconds of pulling into the garage, the inspector said, 'How did the VIN get like this’?'"
It turns out, Martin's Vehicle Identification Number, also known as the VIN, had been tampered with and belonged to a totally different Ford pickup truck.
Why was something like that done? To cover up the fact that the truck Martin had bought was actually reported stolen in 2002, and not one person, not one agency, ever caught the VIN mistake.
As a result, the State's Auto Theft Task Force seized Martin's truck.
"They informed me that my truck was stolen and I need to just get all of my possessions out of it and have someone pick me up."
After 5½ years of paying off and driving a truck, Martin finds out it was stolen. The ordeal stuns him.
"When these circumstances unfolded, I'm kind of left high and dry. In my case, it wasn't legitimate and I didn't find out for 5½ years."
High and dry because police are not giving him much explanation as to how this happened. He says the Department of Motor Vehicles isn't doing much explaining either and his insurance company, after all those years of paying his premiums, are not paying him for the truck that was seized.
3 On Your Side is currently in contact with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles and AAA Arizona, which is Martin's insurance company.
I am still investigating to see how this happened and am looking to these agencies for assistance. I plan on doing an updated story next week when I will hopefully have an amicable resolution.