You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Mershon’s sues state for damaging business

Investigators raided high-end car business in May but haven’t filed any charges.


A high-end local auto dealer is suing the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the State Highway Patrol, claiming his business and reputation have been damaged by their investigation.

The highway patrol’s theft unit raided Mershon’s World of Cars, at 201 E. North St., in May after discovering a Vehicle Identification Number attached to two vehicles sold from the classic car dealer.

No charges have been filed to this date.

After searching the entire facility, the highway patrol confiscated two cars worth a total of $60,000, as well as two VIN plates and six data data trim tags, according to documents.

Tampered VIN numbers, as well as duplicate ones, indicate that a car may have been stolen, according to the highway patrol.

Owner Dan Mershon said Friday that he would not comment on the lawsuit or investigation until it’s over, and his attorney is out of the office because of surgery.

But in documents filed in Clark County Common Pleas Court, Mershon says Public Safety and the highway patrol’s actions “have harmed or will harm (Mershon’s) business relationships, will place a cloud upon the motor vehicle titles and will disregard both Ohio statutory law and Ohio case precedent.”

Besides preventing sale of the two vehicles confiscated, the investigation casts a shadow on the validity of the business’ vehicles.

Mershon’s — which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2011 — sells about 200 cars a year, most of which to overseas customers. The cars range in price from $60,000 to more than $200,000.

Mershon is asking the court to issue a declaratory judgment that he owns the seized vehicles and that the highway patrol is improperly keeping them, an order requiring the vehicles to be returned to Mershon and an injunction against anyone acting with in Department of Public Safety or highway patrol.

Highway Patrol officials said they could not comment on the lawsuit.

As for the investigation, it is still open and there is no timeline on when it will be complete, according to the highway patrol communications office. The two cars confiscated — a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle and a 1965 Pontiac GTO — will not be returned until authorities finish looking at “irregularities” in the vehicles, said a highway patrol official.

While the highway patrol would not say why they took those vehicles eight months ago, in a previous interview Mershon said the Chevrolet had no identification number on the motor and the Pontiac’s identification number was illegible.

Investigators look for numbers that don’t match various points of VIN location, plates that seem lifted or have altered numbers or plates that use different rivets than the manufacturer, said Lt. Anne Ralston, public information officer for the highway patrol in a previous interview.

“People do tamper with VINs,” Ralston said then. “It’s probably less common than just someone stealing it as part of a crime, maybe they commit a crime and stole a vehicle to get away or a joyride.”

According to the highway patrol, incidences of car dealers selling stolen cars is very uncommon and generally happens maybe once or twice a year.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Dad learns to walk again for his daughters' sake after doctors said he was paralyzed
Dad learns to walk again for his daughters' sake after doctors said he was paralyzed

Seven months after doctors told him he’d never be able to use his legs again, a man stood up and walked out of a rehabilitation center with his two young daughters at his side. Cole Thomas, of Rochelle, Illinois, told “Today” that he shattered a vertebra in a September 2016 car crash. “I realized I was hurt very badly,&rdquo...
Poor Will’s Clark County Almanack: Hummingbirds arrive!
Poor Will’s Clark County Almanack: Hummingbirds arrive!

Stay together, Learn the flowers, Go light. — Gary Snyder, from “For the Children” The Almanack Horoscope Moon Time: Mock Orange Moon waxes throughout the period, entering its second quarter at 9:42 p.m. on May 2. Rising in the morning and setting in the evening, this moon passes overhead in the afternoon. Sun Time: Late Spring is...
Disney workers ask company to fight for 500 Haitian refugees
Disney workers ask company to fight for 500 Haitian refugees

Union representatives speaking on behalf of 500 Haitian refugees working as Disney cast members in Central Florida are asking CEO Bob Iger to fight for them to stay in the U.S. The group is part of 50,000 refugees from the island nation who are living in the U.S. following the earthquake that ravaged the country in 2010. President Barack Obama gave...
Facebook Live video leads to suspect in woman's death
Facebook Live video leads to suspect in woman's death

A Facebook Live video led police to a suspect in the December 2016 death of a woman in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, neighborhood.  Isaiah Booker, 23, of Homestead, was charged Tuesday with criminal homicide, criminal attempted homicide, aggravated assault and persons not to possess a firearm.  The charges stem from the shooting death of 25-year-old...
Opinion: The ESPN we used to enjoy is dead and never coming back
Opinion: The ESPN we used to enjoy is dead and never coming back

The worst thing that ever happened to ESPN was the success of PTI. Shortly after Pardon The Interruption debuted in October 2001, the network set about trying to replicate it on every other show on the network. That has proven to be a disaster because nobody in Bristol gets the debate isn’t what makes that show great, it’s the debaters...
More Stories