BELLEVILLE — Duffy's License and Title Service is closed, indefinitely.
The Illinois Secretary of State Police closed the business at 307 N. Illinois St. Saturday, according to Secretary of State spokesman Henry Haupt.
"The Secretary of State Police had received complaints from customers who had been waiting a long time for their titles to be processed," Haupt said. "The Secretary of State Police have collected over 60 title applications so far and our goal is to process the title work in the most expeditious fashion possible."
Owner of Duffy's, Brian Rainbolt, has not had a remitter's license, which is issued by the state and allows a business to function as an agency of the state, since January, Haupt said. The business was taking money from customers to process titles but did not complete the work, Haupt added.
Rainbolt has been cited with operating a business without a remitter's license, a class B misdemeanor. Rainbolt could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
A longtime Duffy's customer, Gary Crane of Belleville, was in the office Saturday when the Secretary of State Police came in and shut it down.
"I was the customer right in front of the Secretary of State policeman that came in after me," Crane said. "I've been trying to get the sticker for my fiancee's car since the second week of April. That's when I gave him the money for the sticker. He kept giving us the run-around, telling us it would be in on this day or that day. Then, he wouldn't return our calls. The only way I could catch him was by going to the office and that's what I did Saturday."
Crane never did get his registration sticker from Rainbolt, he said. He had to pay the fee again, and a late fee, totaling $140 he said, when he went to the Secretary of State's Office in Belleville after Duffy's was closed.
"I have done business with Duffy's since I was a young man, since I first got my first driver's license more than 40 years ago," Crane said. "I've always done business through them and never had a bit of a problem."
Haupt said the investigation is ongoing.
Customers who have done business with Duffy's and have not received a title or have other complaints, are asked to call the Secretary of State Police District 4A Headquarters at 236-8765.
A branch of the police is also located at the Belleville Secretary of State office at 400 W. Main St. and customers can go to that office and ask to see a representative from the Secretary of State Police. Customers should bring with them all documentation they have, including receipts or canceled checks when a complaint is filed to expedite outstanding transactions, Haupt said.
"As long as they have proof of payment, some sort of documentation, that they paid the remitter, they won't have to pay us again," Haupt said.
Contact reporter Jennifer A. Schaaf at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2667.