Chesterfield, MO (KSDK) - A Chesterfield woman is at her wits end over a car purchase she made nearly a year ago.
It's a 5 on your Side investigation that led us all the way to the Missouri Attorney General's Office. The car lot in question wasn't happy when 5 on Your Side came calling.
Walking to catch a bus is now a way of life for Donna Renaud.
"Yes, I have. For the last several months," said Renaud.
Even though Donna does have a car.
"Because I have no title," said Renaud.
Donna got a title for the 2002 Camaro when she bought it in December from a used car lot, Pre-Owned Auto Sales on Morganford Road in St. Louis.
But she claims she gave the title, along with three hundred dollars to an employee at the car lot.
She said, "He told me that he would get the car registered for me."
Renaud previously tried to register it herself, but says the car would not pass an emissions test. Instead of helping her, she says the employee disappeared, along with her money and the title.
All these months later it still hasn't been sorted out.
"I can't register the car, which means I can't drive the car. I can't sell the car. I can't do anything with the car. The car just remains parked," Renaud said.
After 5 on Your Side's Mike Rush's calls were not returned, he stopped by Pre-Owned Auto to get answers from Pam Fiedler. The Missouri Secretary of State's Office lists Fiedler as the registered agent for the lot.
Here are experts from the dialogue of the exchange between Mike, Fiedler and a couple of men inside the office who interjected in the conversation.
Rush: "Looking for the owner or the manager. Are you Pam?"
Pam: "I am Pam."
Rush: "Hi, Pam. You're the one I'm looking for. I'm with Channel 5 and I wanted to talk to you about a complaint that I got from Ms. Donna Renaud. Do you know who I'm talking about?"
Pam: "I know Donna."
Rush: "Ok. Did you get my messages? My phone messages?"
Man 1: "No, I didn't give them to her."
Rush: "Pam, I wanted to ask you why she doesn't."
Pam: "You can ask in private. I don't want no camera on me. This is."
Rush: "Why hasn't she been able...."
Man 2: "You're going to have to step out, this is private property."
Rush: "Why's that?"
Man 2: "Because it's private property."
Rush: "Why don't you want us to talk about this?"
Man 2: "Will you step outside?"
Pam: "She's got a title to it."
Rush: "Does she have the title?"
Rush: "Okay, please. First of all (to Man 2) I'll step outside, you keep your hands off me, how's that?"
Guy: "Well, get the camera off us."
Our crew complied and stepped outside. Following a brief flare-up involving one of the men cursing and putting his hand over our camera, the men eventually invited Rush in without the camera.
Inside, Fiedler denied an employee took the title. She claimed Donna lost it on her own and to be nice, she's helping her get a new one. Fiedler said it's taken this long because she's been waiting on an appointment with Highway Patrol, to have the car inspected.
But when Rush showed up at the time and place where Pam said she had the appointment, he never saw her.
When he called her back for an explanation, she hung up on him.
The reason Pam may not want to talk to Rush could be connected to what 5 on Your Side learned in Jefferson City.
The Missouri Attorney General's Office previously investigated Pre-Owned Auto, for among other things, selling vehicles that did not pass inspection, which is against the law.
In a negotiated court order, the company paid fines and restitution and agreed to stop.
Doug Ommen is the consumer protection chief counsel for the Attorney General. Rush told him about Renaud's situation.
"That raises a lot of concerns with this office," said Ommen.
Because of the possibility she's a victim of the same kind of practices Pre-Owned Auto was cited over.
Rush: "Can I pass along your name and number to her?"
Ommen: "Absolutely, yeah, she can call me directly."
It could be the boost to get Renaud off the bus and Pre-Owned Auto on track.
Complicating matters, state records show Pre-Owned Auto is closing down. We'll keep you posted on Renaud's fight to get her title.
If you have an issue you'd like Mike Rush to look at visit our 5 on Your Side page.