A North Carolina woman is lawyering up after the Department of Homeland Security came to her house and seized her 1985 Land Rover Defender SUV.
“I haven’t done anything wrong,” she told WBTV.
Brinkley bought the Land Rover Defender last year via the internet. She had invested more than $60,000 into the car.
“They popped up the hood and looked at the Vehicle Identification Number and compared it with a piece of paper and then took the car with them,” she said.
According to WBTV, in recent years some importers have been changing VIN numbers in order to comply with import regulations. All vehicles imported into the United States have to meet strict safety and emissions standards, which Land Rover Defenders do not. The only way around these standards is by importing vehicles 25-years-old or older, which is why in recent years importers have changed VINs to make a vehicle appear older.
Defenders, which are considered rare in the U.S., sell at a premium — even 25-year-old ones.
Brinkley said she has been trying to reach the seller with no success.
She told Fox News that she had a title for the vehicle and did enough work on it that it would have passed inspection. Brinkley said the warrant presented to her had the name of a previous owner on it.
“There were 40 seized that day all over the United States,” Brinkley said, adding that she’s in “disbelief” that her property could just be taken.
“I want my car back,” she said.
She has 35 days to appeal the seizure, but has no idea where her SUV is.