Auto Source on 14th Street Closed In Recent Crackdown?


Remember a couple of weeks ago when we learned that the city was closing down 23 used car dealerships? The Post had reported:

“The District is closing 23 used-car dealerships and plans to terminate the licenses of 303 salespeople, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said yesterday. The dealerships, he said, were nothing more than glorified storage facilities that had nothing to do with selling cars.”

I’ve recently noticed that Auto Source on 14th Street just south of U doesn’t have many cars in their lot anymore. That is a prime location. Anyone know if they were part of the crackdown? Anyone know what’s going to happen with that land?

14 Comment

  • i’ve always thought that this spot would sell out to a developer sooner or later, legit car dealership or not. that land there is just too valuable to be a glorified parking lot.

  • Please build a Trader Joe’s here…

  • Feel free to call me ignorant, but if they had nothing to do with selling used cars … what exactly were they doing?

  • This lot has been empty for at least a month or two

  • I don’t think this lot in particular was part of the big crackdown, but many like it were.

    Lau: These places took advantage of DC’s lax used vehicle sales laws and enforcement of them to store vehicles for sale in more restrictive [and enforced] used car markets like MD & PA. These sales also often involved money laundering of drug cash and many also did a booming sideline business in selling fake temp tags.

  • I second the motion for a Trader Joe’s! That would be an amazing location for one… it’s such a haul to get over to the one by GW.

  • The used car dealership across the way on the south side of 14th Street (next to the laundromat) appears to have been shut down as well. Another ideal location for a Trader Joe’s.

  • Bar-Cade, Krystal Burger, Brewery Store, Movie Theatre, any of these things would be a welcome change to the area’s selection of shops and stores.

  • Whoever had 80 minutes in the Trader Joe’s pool, you’ve won a bottle of two-buck chuck.

    In all seriousness… I’d shop there.

  • Krystal Burger? Um. OK. Well, I guess it’s better than a chop shop, but as far as sketchy crime-magnet, money laundering burger places go, I prefer Checker’s.

  • Just so people are aware, I did not know about the temp tag thing but it works like this.

    a drug dealer needs a car to keep “off the books.” They buy a hooptie and take it to one of these car dealers to get the tags. The dealer gets them legitimate DC Temp tags illegitimately, which is to say that they falsely record the sale or something. The drug dealer comes back in 2 months and gets new temp tags for the same vehicle.

    The drug dealer never registers the car with the DMV and I believe they don’t need valid insurance either. Maybe the car gets spotted? It gets torched and there’s no real paperwork on ownership for the police to search for.

    I can’t promise you that’s 100% true, but that’s the story as it was explained to me. It’s a key part of the hooptie phenomena.

    Other people have told me that these cars were purchased as part of Nigerian scams for later shipment to Nigeria. Channel 5 later had an interview with someone working at the dealership and his name was Nigerian, so it might be true or just more BS, but it was an interesting coincidence.

  • What Neener says is true. But not only that, if you want to duck many tickets, child support payments, repo, or a stolen car, temporary tags are just the ticket. They make more money from temp tags than anything else.

  • Some of these cars end up in El Salvador also, either smuggled through port of Baltimore or by land in really creative ways like disassembled in several large cartons or concealed in the back of trash/dump trucks. El Salvador has a really convoluted and pricey import tariff/tax scheme on imported vehicles, but once it’s in the country you’re apparently all good.

  • I want a Trader Joe’s here too…

    So I sent in a location request right on their website.

    Please take a moment and ask for a Trader Joe’s on 14th Street.

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