Used car dealer fuming after thieves pinch his vehicles from auction house

  • James Curtin, boss of Redbrook Trading, says cars were stolen from City Auction Group site
  • Two top-of-the-range Toyota Toyota Hilux GR Sport models were taken in November
  • Dealer says auctioneers refuse to accept liability and he has been left out of pocket

Time 12:02 pm, January 17, 2024

A used car dealer has hit out at City Auction Group after two of his vehicles were stolen from the firm’s site.

James Curtin, the boss of Redbrook Trading in Rugeley, Staffordshire, had been hoping to receive up to £70,000 for a pair of Toyota Hilux GR Sport trucks, via City Auction Group’s centre in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

However, before the sale could take place, both vehicles were stolen from the yard, leaving Curtin out of pocket and fearing for his business.

The 26-year-old says the auction house has ‘refused to accept liability and has made no offer of compensation’.

The father-of-three told Car Dealer the two top-of-the-range cars cost him £32,500 each to buy, as well as costs associated with preparing them for sale, and he was selling the vehicles via auction to secure quick funds.

Speaking exclusively to Car Dealer, he said he wants City Auction Group to refund the initial purchase price of the vehicles.

He said: ‘I’m not an unreasonable man and this really isn’t some sort of hate campaign from me. It just isn’t right what has happened.

‘They’re just offering no help whatsoever. City Auction Group didn’t even tell me for four days, even when I spoke to them to arrange some collections.

‘I finally got a call at 10 to five on the Monday evening saying “Oh sorry James, by the way, they actually got stolen last Thursday – four days ago”.

‘My chances of recovery by then were zero. They won’t let me see the CCTV and the only resolution they’ve offered me is that they could look at my buyer’s fees, which is just an insult.’

In response to Car Dealer’s approach, City Auction Group defended its ‘very robust security procedures’.

However, the firm declined to comment further as the case remains under investigation by Cambridgeshire Constabulary.

A spokesman for City Auction Group told Car Dealer: ‘City Auction Group have very robust security procedures in place.

‘Each vehicle is secured appropriately with CCTV coverage across all locations.

‘An active investigation is ongoing with Cambridgeshire police and our insurers presently to whom we have provided the CCTV footage.

‘We do not wish to comment further, pending the outcome of their investigations.’

The theft took place on November 23, but Curtin says a resolution could still be some way off.

The car dealer says that claiming for the theft on his own insurance would lead to him losing seven years of no claims and leave him with ‘sky-high premiums’.

He has also looked into taking the case to court, but one legal firm told him it could take well over a year and cost as much as £20,000.

He added: ‘All I really want is for them to cover the cost of the initial purchase. I can absorb the other losses.

‘I’m just lucky that I don’t have any stock tied up in finance or I would be in real trouble.’

Cambridgeshire Constabulary told Car Dealer that a man has been released on bail in relation to the theft.

A spokesman for the force said: ‘We were called at about 7am on 24 November 2023 with reports of a burglary at an address in Bakewell Road, Peterborough.

‘A man in his 20s has subsequently been arrested on suspicion of burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and criminal damage.

‘He was released on bail and an investigation is ongoing.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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