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Car lot offers $500 reward

By By Adam Prestridge
A routine test drive for one local used car lot turned into a joy ride for an area teenager last month.
According to brothers Derrick Bishop and Kelvin Williams, owners of Brothers Auto Sales located on North Main Street in Atmore, 19-year-old Amanda Andrews and another female visited the lot on Feb. 19 interested in purchasing a vehicle. Andrews took a 2003 black Acura TL with tinted windows on a test drive and as of two weeks later, she has not returned.
Williams explained that as with most car dealerships and lots, Brothers requires the person taking a car off the lot for a test drive to provide their driver’s license, which they make a copy of for various reasons. Theft was something the brothers did not believe they would have to deal with in their hometown; small where most everyone knows each other.
The Atmore Police Department issued warrants for Andrews’ arrest Thursday. When she is found, she will face a charge of Theft of Property 1st degree.
Carlee also confirmed that Andrews was seen on videotape at a gas station near Interstate 65 fueling the vehicle up prior to fleeing the area.
Williams and Bishop are offering an incentive for someone to come forward with an address or Andrews’ whereabouts to assist the police department in her arrest. The brothers are offering a $500 reward to the person who offers up information that leads to Andrews’ arrest.
Williams said the vehicle is valued at $8,500. He added that a sale of that magnitude for a small used car lot is a “huge” financial loss.
“Every piece of inventory here, the sell of that inventory, is hinging on me keeping the doors open another day,” he said.
Since the theft, Brother Auto Sales has revised its test-driving policy requiring customers to leave the hard copy of their driver’s license with them before being able to test drive.
As for the vehicle, Williams is optimistic that it is still in one piece.
Andrews is believed to have family in both the Freemanville and Mobile areas.
Anyone with information on Andrews’ whereabouts is asked to call the Atmore Police Department at 368-9141.