NY officials continue investigation into sale of military jeeps
By Gordon Block | Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times | Published: August 10, 2013
ADAMS, N.Y. — About 100 days after the sale of a several military vehicles, including 10 Army jeeps, at Dobbin’s Auto Salvage Yard, state investigators are continuing their probe into the vehicles’ origin.
The origin of the Army AMC General and M151 jeeps on the lot of Gordon O. Dobbin first was reviewed by Fort Drum Criminal Investigation Command a day before the May 4 auction, despite the listing being publicly available for months. Also held up in the delay from the salvage yard, 10545 Route 11, is a collection of military cargo trucks and tag-alongs.
The state attorney general’s Albany office said in an email to the Times on Friday that it was still investigating the vehicles and could not comment on its review.
The department has said in the past that the vehicles may have been meant to be destroyed and that none of the vehicles had titles. Another concern for the department is the safety of the vehicles, which are said to be easily rolled over.
A number previously used to contact Mr. Dobbin was disconnected when the Times called it Friday. However, Mr. Dobbin in the past has voiced frustration with the delay of the sale.
“I don’t see what the problem is, but they’re trying to create one,” Mr. Dobbin said in May.
Each of the jeeps sold at the May 4 auction went for bids ranging from $4,000 to $7,000. It was disclosed to customers during the auction that none of the vehicles had titles and would be sold only with bills of sale. Winning bidders were directed to deposit 10 percent of the price until the sale was formally approved.
Potential bidders also were told during the auction that the vehicles were not for highway use. A few of the winning bidders interviewed by the Times said they used the jeeps for display purposes or for low-risk veterans parades.
Roger Trombley, regional senior sales manager for Alex Lyon & Son, Bridgeport, which conducted the auction, said a few days after the sale that the Army had lost its records for the jeeps, so the vehicles could not be tracked.