More charges for car salesman

Brian Vanvlerah allegedly tampered with titles.
Courtney Astolfi
Sep 17, 2013


A Sandusky car salesman was arrested for the third time in recent weeks on allegations he illegally prolonged title transfers, forged customer names and took money for services he never provided.
Read a previous story HERE

Hometown Car Sales owner Brian VanVlerah, 38, of the 300 block of Pennsylvania Ave., was charged with three counts of tampering with records and one count each of theft, forgery and felonious prohibited acts involving certificates of titles.

The charges came less than three weeks after VanVlerah was arrested on three counts of prohibited acts involving certificates of titles, one count of forgery and one misdemeanor failure to maintain records, Sandusky police Detective Gary Wichman said.

“He’s been leaving a paper trail that’s easy to trace,” Wichman said.

VanVlerah was allegedly selling cars on consignment, then illegally altering buyer’s agreements, giving him more time to acquire titles and secure payments, Wichman said.

VanVlerah’s latest charges don’t just revolve around title transfers. Wichman’s ongoing investigation into the West Monroe Street business uncovered at least one instance of an outright forged signature.

While apparently trying to get his affairs in order in light of recent charges, VanVlerah allegedly replicated a customer’s signature on the title to her vehicle.

“He actually forged this woman’s name while he was out on bond from the other charges,” Wichman said.

When Wichman questioned VanVlerah Monday following his arrest, the salesman said he wasn’t aware that forging the signature was illegal, Wichman said.

VanVlerah’s theft charge stemmed from an August incident in which he accepted payment for a brake job, but never actually completed the work, Wichman said. That owner paid VanVlerah for repairs, but the car’s brakes went out just days later. A reputable repairman later told the owner no work had ever been performed, police said.

Officers have received more than a dozen complaints about VanVlerah’s fly-by-night operation, said Wichman, who along with Ohio BMV investigators is continuing to investigate the allegations.

“His troubles are just starting,” Wichman said.



He hasn't live on Pennsylvania Ave for almost 7 years.

Darwin's choice



they charge him with theft for not putting brakes on? I don't agree at all with what this guy did but it just amazes me I've heard of folks doing more deceitful things than this and the cops telling the victim " Nothing we can do it's a civil matter"

Darwin's choice

selective prosecution.


huronguy - his charge of theft is for taking money for services rendered and not performed. Kind of a theft by deception sort of deal but they no longer have that charge if I remember correctly. And I agree with you that it doesn't make sense how things are charged. You have to wonder sometimes why certain "crimes" committed are considered civil when they seem more like criminal charges and yet there are some that are charged as criminal that almost seem civil in character and context.

Julie R.

"You have to wonder sometimes why certain "crimes" committed are considered civil when they seem more like criminal charges and yet there are some that are charged as criminal that almost seem civil in character and context."

I totally agree. Take the Krista Harris case for example. From what I read, she transferred money out of her elderly aunt's bank account using a Power of Attorney that the elderly aunt's doctor, Susan Gallagher, testified was prepared years back when the aunt was still competent. Now one would think the jokes at the courthouse would have looked at that case as civil yet they called it criminal and brought in a special prosecutor and one of their infamous rent-a-judge's to sentence the lady to a harsh 5-year prison sentence w/no early release.

On the other hand, I can't verify it only because the prosecutor would not return my phone calls, but I was told Baxter told somebody (in the presence of the former Huron police chief Randy Glovinsky) that a Forensic Document Examiner's Report that stated with scientific certainty every single document they examined was a FORGERY (including, but not limited to, a POA I found concealed in the Lorain County Recorder after the death of my mother) "was not a criminal matter, it was civil and had to be handled by the Erie County Probate Court."

(the probate court's way of "handling" it was to refuse to address it)


yes candleburner here's a example. Perkins teacher gets a minor misdemeanor for giving prescription drugs to the students but two young men at ehove last week get charged with felonies because they were caught taking each others meds. I expect that out of two teenagers but not a teacher yet these two "juveniles" are held to a more strict code.
it goes on and on and on. different strokes for different folks.


Sounds like a couple people should read the Ohio Revised Code.

Julie R.

Even better, I know a couple of judges and some snake attorneys that should read the Ohio Revised Code, too. Here's just a couple:

(1.) "If property is transferred under a Power of Attorney, the Power of Attorney must be on file for a period of three (3) months prior to the transfer in the RECORDER OF THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE PROPERTY IS SITUATED."

(2.) "Before property that's part of an estate can be sold, if the administrator of the estate is aware of any FRAUD having been committed on the property, then the administrator and/or his or her ATTORNEYS are to commence an action in the common pleas court of the county in which the property is situated to have the FRAUD acknowledged."

Julie R.

Hey attorney Buff, isn't there a common sense law in every state that says if complaints are to be filed in a probate estate, the complaints must be filed in the county that the decedent resided in ..... the county where a Will is filed?

That law sure doesn't apply in corrupt Erie County. According to some rent-a-judge last year, if a snake attorney files and dismisses a bogus sham lawsuit in the jurisdiction of Cuyahoga County that means the Erie County probate court judge does not have to address any complaints filed in the probate estates of life-long Erie County residents.

Also, considering how Erie County now has two more probate court judges (Tone & Binette) in addition to Beverly McGookey, why is the probate court still using rent-a-judges?


"one instance of an outright forged signature."

There is more than one instance of outright forged signatures in corrupt Ohio.


Huron guy the teacher gave out lidocain. ( my as well be icy hot, ben gay, ect....) get a clue they are not narcotics and not even on the list of scheduled drugs in the Ohio Rev. Code...... so they are stretching with the charges she got my super bright Huron guy

Julie R.

Did this guy really say that he wasn't aware that forging a signature was illegal? If so, I would have to say he would fit right in at the Eeeerie County courthouse! (i.e. they like to feign ignorance, too)

(By the way, is he from Huron?)


The Perkins teacher was likely charged under the Pharmacy Practice Act for possession of a dangerous drug without a license as opposed to a controlled substance. That is a misdemeanor charge.

On the other hand when the wrestling coach was handing out hydrocodone, a controlled substance, he should have been charged with felony possession and or trafficking. The difference in treatment of two similarly situated coaches in the Perkins School District (Male coach not charged with felony or charged at all versus female coach charged with crime for what is a regulatory offense as opposed to serious criminal offense is an example of selective prosecution based on gender or perhaps politics.

It's probably the same story with the car salesman. I seem to remember that a local car dealer with heavy political connections was the conduit of stolen weapons from Perkins Police Department. In fact US. Judge Carr was questioning why Baxter wasn't pursuing the conduits in the McClung case on state charges.

In my opinion the appearance of lack of equal protection under the law and equal enforcement under the law in Erie County based on gender, race or political connections raises some really serious integrity issues concerning Baxter.