Jesse’s Story of the Day

Jesse helps Gig Harbor man after car theft


It’s inventory moving time at Larson Porsche in Fife. The problem is thieves were driving the new rides off the lot.

“I’ve never heard of a car getting stolen from a dealership!  It was a new car to us, it wasn’t stolen from our home, but still, it’s an invasion.

Mike Burton’s brand new 70 thousand dollar Porsche was one of the cars stolen that night. In fact the dealership made it easy for the thieves, “They actually told me that they had left the keys in the car overnight,” Burton said.

The car was taken on an 80 mile joyride and when it was recovered found tools in the back of it for stealing cars, along with extra license plates and two meth or crack bags along with a lighter were in the car.

However what was taken out of the car was Burton’s personal information including his registration that includes his address.

“We have a garage door opener that in the car and was compromised.  We have a gate opener for our gate which was compromised.”

The Porsche did not suffer any major damage. So what did Larson do to make it right?

They detailed the car and told him to pick it up.

Mike says, “They weren’t going to order a new one.  They weren’t going to try to use that for a shop car and give me something else off the lot.  They weren’t going to give me my money back.”

But there’s another problem.

Anytime a car is stolen it’s listed as such in Carfax and other vehicle history companies.

And that could hurt the value of the car according to John Walker and expert in car valuation.

“A buyer at that price point of a vehicle looking to purchase a vehicle with 426 miles on it, you know they have a choice: they can purchase a brand new vehicle, or they can purchase one that has a story.  In this case, the story is it was stolen and it was recovered,” Walker said.

Walker was hired by Burton to find out how much value his car lost after the theft.

He checked with dealerships across the country and using his 30 years of experience the insurance industry found that the loss in value was massive.

Walker said, “The loss in value to this new Porsche was $20,028 for loss in value.  There’s also loss in use, the time that he was without his vehicle, couldn’t drive his vehicle, I factored that in this report too.”

Burton tried to work it out with the dealership and got nowhere so he lawyered up. “So I had a local attorney write a letter to them, explaining what we would like and what feels reasonable.  The letter that was sent to the management at Larson was not acknowledged for 10 days.  The attorney at that time contacted them via email.  That was not acknowledged.”

Mike called me. And after I spent weeks calling and dealing with management-Larson finally agreed to take care of their customer with the promise to make him whole. And to Mike the money is almost secondary to the fact that his family’s safety was placed at risk by a company he says is only worried about the bottom line.

“In our environment when we have Costco, and Alaska Airlines, and Nordstrom and all these service oriented companies that we’re familiar with, when you go into a high end car dealer like this you expect something similar. My goal here is to bring light to it.  To make sure that someone else doesn’t have to go through this.”


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