Republic Street Rods in Anderson, Texas received quite the surprise Saturday afternoon when the Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force and Grimes County Sheriff's Office raided their auction.
Lt. Joe Sclider with the Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force says, "We basically watched the auction and when they started selling vehicles we intervened."
Nearly 54 cars were towed from the property during the raid.
"We have received information that the gentlemen that owns the property across the street has been buying and selling vehicles without a license in this area for quite sometime," says Lt. Sclider.
Taya Shipman is the owner's wife and she says that's not the case.
"We had an auctioneer, a reputable auctioneer come in who has a license. Then we had another gentlemen come in who has a car selling license and he was here to do all the title work," says Shipman.
The auctioneer, Israel Curtis, was charged with conducting an auction without a license. Jerry Williams and Leslie Shipman are both being charged with selling cars without a dealers license.
As for the vehicles they're being taken to the Grimes County Sheriff's Office for further investigation
Lt. Sclider says,"State law gives the general public 20 days or so to register them in their name. If they don't the police can presume they are stolen and at this point we are going to have to find the rightful owner of these vehicles."
This is an ongoing investigation. The owners held the auction to sell their inventory because they're planning to sell their business.