State DMV sweep targets unlicensed car dealers

The Fresno BeeApril 16, 2014 

California Department of Motor Vehicles investigators fanned out across the state Saturday citing unlicensed car dealers who allegedly prey on disadvantaged buyers with the intent of flipping unsafe, used vehicles.

Undercover officers issued 93 citations, impounded 109 vehicles and arrested four people on outstanding warrants during the operation.

The DMV says unlicensed car dealers, called "Curbstoners," typically do their business this way: They buy low-end vehicles from private parties and salvage auction yards and usually do little, if any, mechanical or safety reconditioning. Curbstoners typically create "pop-up" lots by parking multiple cars in one location, clogging city streets, public parking lots and private property.

They also lure potential buyers by advertising on websites like Craigslist and using different names with the same phone number, the DMV says.

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