Police have launched an investigation following complaints about a Chorley town centre second-hand motor dealership.
Lancashire Police said they had received a catalogue of complaints from members of the public about Motorhouse on Bengal Street.
The complaints include those from customers who had been attempting to sell their vehicles through the dealership.
But people have now discovered the premises are locked up and nobody from Motorhouse can be contacted.
One angry customer, Brian Winstanley, 50, of Pilling Lane, Chorley, fears he has lost his £5,000 Audi TT for good.
He explained that he dealt with Motorhouse to sell the 52-plate car – which has now been bought by a new owner in Leicester without him receiving any payment for it.
Mr Winstanley said he was assured by the person he dealt with at the dealership that the car would sell quickly.
He said: “He said to me, I’ll get rid of this within a week.
“It’s just the right red, leave it with me, I’ll keep in touch. Leave everything with me, it will sell straight away.”
Mr Winstanley said he handed over the keys, logbook and service history of the Audi.
He said: “The only thing I got was a sale or return receipt which I still have, we both signed that.
“If it was sold he would pay me the money, if it wasn’t I would get the car back.”
But after hearing nothing for days, he went to investigate how
the sale was progressing – only to find the premises closed.
However, following further investigation it turned out his car had been sold to a new owner in Leicester who is refusing to hand it back despite Mr Winstanley explaining the situation.
Mr Winstanley said the DVLA had written to him saying the new owner had tried to regsiter the vehicle and if he doesn’t respond they will automatically give them a log book.
He said the DVLA said it could not get involved in any legal dispute over the vehicle.
Mr Winstanley has made a formal complaint to police.
Lancashire Police confirmed there had been a number of similar complaints about Motorhouse, stretching back to October 19.
A spokesperson said: “It is being investigated by CID. We have had a number of complaints and we are looking to establish what’s going on.”
Lancashire Trading Standards are also investigating.
The Chorley Guardian rang Motorhouse on several occasions but there was no answer.