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Car lot once managed by Bruchey out of business

October 30, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HALFWAY -- A used car lot that was managed by Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II has gone out of business.

Buel Young, a spokesman for the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, said Friday that Hagerstown Motors at 17703 Virginia Ave. in Halfway closed earlier this week.

Young said the state is investigating the situation, but said he couldn't give specifics.

"Any time we have that type of situation, we can't comment," Young said.

He said no complaints had been filed with the state as of Thursday.

Mike Griffith, owner of the business, did not return three telephone messages Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday, workers were at the empty Hagerstown Motors lot near the intersection of Halfway Boulevard and Virginia Avenue, loading equipment from the building into a covered trailer.

There were no vehicles on the lot Friday.

Bruchey said Thursday that he quit his job on Saturday, Oct. 24.

"I don't know what happened after Saturday," Bruchey said.

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In the past, Bruchey has described his position at Hagerstown Motors at various times as manager and partner. He said Thursday he was the manager of the lot.

A Hagerstown woman said she bought a minivan from the business in August and by Thursday hadn't received the tags and title.

Terry Snyder of Hagerstown said she paid about $4,700 cash for the minivan on Aug. 26 and called Hagerstown Motors on Wednesday, Oct. 21, to ask for the tags and title. She said she needed the documents immediately because her temporary tags were set to expire on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Snyder said Bruchey told her to come to Hagerstown Motors on Friday, Oct. 23, to pick up the tags and title. She said she called the dealership that Friday to ask if the tags and title were ready. Bruchey said they were not, Snyder said, and gave her a dealer's tag so she could continue to drive the vehicle.

Snyder said Bruchey told her to come back on Monday, Oct. 26.

"I showed up on Monday at 4 (p.m.) like he said, and no one was there," Snyder said. "The cars (on the lot) were gone."

Bruchey said Friday in a telephone interview he knew the temporary tags on the vehicle purchased by Snyder were expiring.

"I knew she needed" the tags, Bruchey said. "I knew they weren't ready. I told her to pick up a dealer's tag, and she did."

Bruchey said he had expected Snyder's tags and title to be ready Oct. 26.

"I did my job," Bruchey said. "That's all I can do."

Snyder said she went to the Motor Vehicle Administration south of Hagerstown on Thursday to file a complaint against Hagerstown Motors. She said she was able to obtain another 60-day temporary tag.

"I am very mad," Snyder said. "I paid cash for this vehicle. (MVA officials) said this might take up to a year to get the tags and title."

Young said the MVA will continue to provide temporary tags to people who bought vehicles from Hagerstown Motors until the situation is resolved.

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