I-Team: Used Cars, New Problems? - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

I-Team: Used Cars, New Problems?


An arrest warrant is out for the man who's been the subject of the 9News I-team, Damian Bowling, the owner of A1 Autoplex, a local used car dealership.

Meanwhile, the Louisiana Used Car Commission is looking to shut down the car lot after complaints of violations.

It was supposed to be Gabrielle Bowie's Valentine's Day present to herself, a 2003 Yukon she bought from A1 Autoplex off of Florida Blvd.

"You thinking you work so hard for your money, so well, I'm going to go to a dealership, i know I'm safe," said Bowie.

Bowie's bill of sale from A1 is dated Feb. 14, 2013 in the amount of $5,050. The paperwork is signed by Bowling.

"He should not be selling any vehicles," said Derek Parnell, executive director of the Used Car Commission.

The Used Car Commission regulates all used car dealerships in the state and investigates customer complaints.

Last year in September, Bowling went before the commission's board for three years of violations. Their final verdict back then was, "Mr. Bowling, you understand that for you to continue in business, your license is suspended until the payment of these fines. Your total is $20,200," said John Poteet, chairman of the Used Car Commission.

But Parnell said since then, Bowling has not paid a penny meaning as of now, he legally cannot sell any vehicles.

"He's in violation of commission laws by operating with the suspended license," said Parnell.

But Bowie has bigger problems with Bowling. She found out Tuesday, the Yukon she has already paid in full for and thought she was only waiting on the title, that vehicle was in fact stolen.

That's because the Yukon's original owner, Denny Kennard, left it with Bowling at A1 June 28, 2012 on consignment. The paperwork also has Damian Bowling's signature and A1 Autoplex as the dealership.

In September, Kennard filed a complaint with the Used Car Commission saying "My car was to be sold by consignment. It has been used for two months off the lot. I want car back or money."

In his police report, Kennard claimed Bowling had been driving around in his Yukon when he should have been selling it. Then two months ago, Bowling sold it to Bowie, but she could not get the title on it. So Tuesday, her boyfriend sat outside A1 waiting for Bowling to show up. Instead, Kennard showed up telling her his story and that the vehicle she purchased was stolen.

On Wednesday, Bowie went by A1 looking for Bowling, but the door was locked.

Instead, she was able to talk to him on the phone.

"I paid you $5,050 for the vehicle, and I'm not going to be out of it," said Bowie. "I don't have no vehicle. I gave you my money. I thought I was safe going to a dealership, buying a vehicle so I wouldn't get gypped and guess what? I got gypped by a dealership."

Then the I-team tried talking to him.

"Is this Damian Bowling? This is Kiran Chawla with WAFB," said Chawla.

We asked to meet him for an interview. He said he was in Slidell, and he would not interview with us.

"Did you sell her this vehicle? You didn't sell her this vehicle? Did you sell her this vehicle?" asked Chawla.

He hung up without answering.

Back to the Used Car Commission, Parnell said they have other complaints of Bowling selling vehicles with his suspended license.

"We're working on doing a cease and desist on his dealership because he has been operating on a suspended license. Once we go beyond that, hopefully we won't have to go any further. He will end his business. If we have to go as far as doing an injunction, we will do so," said Parnell.

The I-Team did call Bowling's attorney for comment. The call was not returned.

Warrants for Bowling's arrest are out for theft of a vehicle and felony theft of the $5,050 Bowie paid for the Yukon.

So far, detectives have had no luck finding Bowling. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers 344-STOP.

Powered by Frankly