Customers say Covington car dealer won't hand over titles - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

Customers say Covington car dealer won't hand over titles

Customers of a Covington car dealership claim the owner was selling cars off his lot without having possession of their titles.

The sign outside her Covington thrift store says "Smile, you're on camera," but  Judy Whetsel doesn't really have a reason to smile.  That's because she's afraid to drive her new car without proper title and registration.

"I feel that he knew he didn't have the title to these cars, he should have told us that before," she said Monday.

Whetsel bought her car from Tom Hanks Motors in April. 

"I came back when my drive out tag was about to run out and asked for the title, and he assured me he would get one," she said. "He had one of his employees write out another drive out tag."

Whetsel still hasn't gotten her car title, and is getting more frustrated by the day.

"They're upset because they didn't give away their car - that had a title - and now they've got a car without a title,” said Lt. Allen Wilson of the Covington Police Department.

Tom Hanks turned himself in Friday.  Police said Whetsel is one of ten customers who still don't have titles for cars bought off Hanks' car lot.

Douglas Greenhaw bought his truck from Hanks in March. 

"Well, he kept on saying, 'He's waiting for the title, and sometime it takes a while,'" Greenhaw said.

Greenhaw is still working with the Tipton county clerk to get a new title for his car.

Police said the cars on Hanks' lot didn't even belong to him.  He purchased them from wholesalers who in turn would hand over the titles once they were paid.  Police say Hanks never paid up, and many of his customers never got their car titles

Hanks is set to appear in court on Friday.   If you bought a car from Tom Hanks motors and didn't get a title, call the Covington Police Department at 901-475-1261.


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