AURORA, Ohio - Melissa Anderson of Aurora has been bombarded by traffic tickets ever since she turned in her leased Volkswagen in December 2011.
The problem is Anderson wasn't behind the wheel when the violations took place. The tickets total several hundred dollars, and are from New York, New Jersey and Illinois.
The tickets include photographs showing the plates that were once on Anderson's vehicle. Each picture clearly shows the plates on three different cars and shows them going through an E-ZPass toll gate without paying.
Anderson said when she got the first ticket several months ago, she was hoping she would find a quick solution.
"It's been frustrating. I thought it would be something easy to get out of," said Anderson. "But it turned into a nightmare. I kept going back and forth with VW credit."
Anderson also went back to the dealership that took in her car, and asked VW of Bedford to trace the plates that were on her car.
"They said the plates are to be destroyed, and I said, 'Obviously, the plates were not destroyed because their in Illinois, New York, New Jersey,'" said Anderson. "They really didn't have an answer for me. They said the vehicle wasn't with them much after I turned in the vehicle on Dec. 3."
Anderson had to send letters to each state, proving she no longer has her leased vehicle and continues to try and work her way out of the bogus traffic tickets.
The NewsChannel5 Troubleshooter unit contacted VW of Bedford about the case, and the dealership took immediate action.
The dealership contacted the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Columbus, and reported the plates as being stolen, in effort to get Anderson's name removed from the registration.
The dealership told NewsChannel5, Anderson's leased vehicle was not sold here in northeast Ohio, but was sent back to VW finance days after it was turned in. Somehow the plates were stolen as the vehicle was being transported.
NewsChannel5 will continue to follow-up on this case.
Meanwhile, Anderson is hoping the tickets will stop coming to her mail box. She's also contact the Ohio BMV.
Right now, she's not driving a leased vehicle, but said her traffic ticket nightmare won't stop her from leasing in the future.
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