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Auburn tire business searched by police

Discounts, customer service questioned
By: Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer
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An Auburn tire retailer was searched by the Auburn Police Department and the California Board of Equalization after a yearlong investigation of the business, according to a press release by the police department.

The press release sent to the Journal on Monday, states that The Tire Depot at 203 Palm Ave. was searched by the Auburn Police Department and the state Board of Equalization on Oct. 4. The board of equalization would not comment on the search this week.

Detective Jerry Johnson with the Auburn Police Department said no charges have been filed regarding the circumstances of the search warrant. Sales documents and business records were seized from the business after the search was conducted. Johnson said he is on reserve to the police department after retiring.

A man identifying himself as the owner of The Tire Depot who would only go by "Ali" on Wednesday said he is "in the dark" about why his business was searched. Andy Heath, administrative services director with the city of Auburn, said The Tire Depot is licensed to Ali Akbar.

"They're doing their due process like they're supposed to. We'll let our customers be the judge of our character," the owner said. "I've never gotten any complaints, but we're in retail. We can't please 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time."

The Auburn Police Department bought tires from The Tire Depot undercover during the last year in order to document alleged discounts offered to those who pay for tires with cash.

Johnson said it is "perfectly legal" to buy tires with cash, but "a business is responsible to pay all taxes related to tire sales." He would not go into further detail on Monday.

The release states the police also started investigating The Tire Depot after customers complained that the business did not honor warranty. Other tire businesses also reported to the police that their customers complained about their service at The Tire Depot.

The Auburn Police Department is asking residents who have purchased tires from The Tire Depot to come forward if they were offered discounts if they paid in cash or if they did not receive a receipt after making a purchase, or if their receipt did not have an invoice number.

Contact the Auburn Police Department at (530) 823-4068 with any information regarding The Tire Depot.

Contact Amber Marra at amberm@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Amber_AJNews.