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|Clarett, mother tied to dealership at heart of theft report|
Other details of the Maurice Clarett saga surfaced Wednesday.
In Columbus, ESPN.com's Tom Farrey reports that the Car Store, the dealership which allowed Clarett to borrow the car that was eventually broken into -- and is at the center of the fraudulent theft report he filed -- sold a 2000 Navigator for $13,800 to Clarett's mother before Clarett reported the break-in of the car he was driving.
The Car Store often deals in cash transactions, and the purchase of the Navigator is significant because it may allow Clarett to avoid an NCAA violation. The NCAA allows athletes to enter into arrangements for cars if these same arrangements are available to students who are not athletes.
The Car Store told ESPN.com that it typically will allow established customers to take out cars on test drives for extended periods. Because Clarett's mother purchased the Navigator, the Car Store considered Clarett as someone the dealership had an existing relationship with, said Keith Whann, attorney for Car Store owner Jacob Chapa.
"With virtually any car dealer, you are allowed to take a test drive," Whann said. "In this case, the policy (Chapa) has with prior customers or friends is to allow them to take the car overnight. Maurice Clarett was not treated differently than any other customer."
Whann said Chapa is "a fan, as most people in Columbus are," but that he is not an Ohio State booster, has not contributed money to the school and he does not have season tickets to Buckeye games.
Chapa first met Clarett when he and his mother, Michelle, showed up at the Car Store to buy her Lincoln Navigator, Whann said.
According to the police report Clarett filed, he claimed a loss of $8,188 worth of cash, stereo equipment, a TV monitor, clothing and compact discs.
Whann said Chapa understands how Clarett miscalculated the value of the contents that were stolen from the 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which was customized to include modern electronic gear such as an embedded television. Those items belonged to the dealership; Clarett had CDs and cash that belonged to him that was stolen from the vehicle.
"It's not surprising that Clarett would not know the value (of the customized items he did not own)," Whann said.
Whann said Chapa has received threats and his business has been hurt by the scandal.
"We're getting more reporters than customers," Chapa said. "If each one bought a car, I would be in great shape."