Updated: Friday, 07 Sep 2012, 10:41 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 07 Sep 2012, 3:02 PM EDT
(WTNH) -- Anyone who bought a car from a specific Hamden car dealership might be driving an unregistered vehicle illegally.
The Department of Motor Vehicles announced Friday cars sold at Bernardo Motors on State Street were sold without valid titles and registrations.
Bernardo Motors is accused of making empty promises. Now their lot is looking pretty empty.
"It was full of cars," said Jarol Cotto, "very expensive cars, like Mercedes, Landrover, BMW's."
However, the owner didn't take a nice car to leave Friday; David Taylor was in the bushes, trying to evade our News 8 camera.
"Does it surprise you at all that when we were there he tried to sneak out the back," asked News 8's Stephanie Simoni.
"That doesn't surprise me, no," said Lt. Christopher Smith, DMV.
That's because Lt. Smith says over the past two years, they received 24 complaints about the dealership.
"All of them recently have involved him selling cars without providing them with a title and a valid registration," Lt. Smith said.
Smith says Taylor gave customers fake temporary registrations, told them he would take care of the title, and tossed over the keys.
Weeks would go by, and the title and permanent registration never came in the mail.
He says they revoked his license to sell in May, but he says that didn't stop him.
"We put up a yellow sign on the establishment that his license had been revoked and we had gone back there twice since then and the sign disappeared," said Lt. Smith. "So people driving along would assume he was a dealership open for business."
Before Taylor made his escape, he did give News 8 his side of the story off camera. He said he sold every car with the title and registration, and that the DMV has something against him because of an outstanding fine.
"We don't have a vendetta against anybody, when we receive complaints we have an obligation to act on them," said Lt. Smith.
And even though Coto liked what he used to see in the lot, he says he's lucky he only looked.
"Do you buy your cars at Bernardo Motors," asked Simoni.
"No, unfortunately not," said Coto, "for my good luck, no."
Anyone who bought a car there is advised to contact the DMV's Consumer Complaint Center at 860-263-5405 to check the status of their vehicle.