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Fraud Victim Waiting on Vehicle Title, Registration

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BROWNSVILLE – A raid at a Rio Grande Valley car lot is still being felt three weeks later.

Abril Fonseca paid $7,000 cash for her vehicle back in March. She said she still hasn't received her title and registration.

She bought it at Salinas Auto Sales in Brownsville.

"It was horrible, it was a horrible experience," Fonseca said, "I don't think I'll ever go to a car lot again."

After paying the car in full, Fonseca paid an extra $600 for her title and registration. It's now the end of September and she's still driving around with paper plates.

"I wasn't sure why they didn't have it," Fonseca said. "I wasn't sure if the title had a lien or maybe, what if it was stolen or if I was never going to be able to get in contact with them. It was really hard for me to get (in contact with them)."

Police told CHANNEL 5 NEWS, Fonseca is just one of dozens defrauded by the car lot.

Brownsville police said car lot owners were keeping customers' cash meant for titles and registration.

Owners never delivered the plates, instead kept issuing paper plates.

We went to the car lot Wednesday and the business remains closed.

Officials with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles said they are currently looking into victim's claims.

Those with proof that they purchased their vehicle from Salinas Auto Sales are getting help from the state to get their paperwork.

"Well, I'm excited because I want my title," Fonseca said when she found out she'd be getting help.

Officials said victims should start by filing a complaint online on the DMV's website then call the Pharr district office.

Brownsville police are also asking victims to file a police report with them.

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