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Probe stalls release of jeeps sold at Dobbin auction

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ADAMS — The 10 restored military jeeps from Dobbin’s Auto Salvage Yard have still not been released to customers who bought them at auction Saturday.

The sale of the AMC General and A1 jeeps at the yard off of Route 11, owned by Gordon O. Dobbin, was first scrutinized by Fort Drum’s Criminal Investigation Command a few days before the sale, potentially due to issues of ownership.

None of the jeeps sold Saturday had titles, with winning bidders told they would receive bills of sale.

The jeeps were designated as not for highway use.

The release of a few military trailer tagalongs was also delayed.

Mr. Dobbin did not return a message left for him by the Times on Tuesday morning.

Roger Trombley, regional senior sales manager for Alex Lyon & Son, Bridgeport, which conducted Saturday’s auction, said in a phone interview Tuesday that he had learned the matter had been passed along to the state attorney general’s office.

He said the Army had lost their records for the jeeps, so they could not be tracked.

“They don’t even know what’s going on,” Mr. Trombley said.

An employee with the company about 33 years, Mr. Trombley said selling military vehicles was not usually a problem.

“We’re a reputable company. We don’t want to do anything wrong,” Mr. Trombley said.

He pointed out that the company auctioned off a military tank in Florida a few months ago without any issue.

Michelle C. Hook, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that its lawyers were reviewing the matter and were working to find a resolution among the post’s investigators, the auction house and Mr. Dobbin.

If a decision about the jeeps is not made by today, Mr. Trombley said, the auction company likely will pull out of the deal and give the winning bidders their money back.

Each of the jeeps sold at prices from $4,000 to $7,000, and customers were directed to deposit 10 percent of the price until the sale is approved formally.

Christopher P. Grey, spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Command, Quantico, Va., said in an email Tuesday afternoon that he could not confirm or release any information about the inquiry.

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