Police who have extended their search for missing Auckland woman Rae Portman to the Bay of Plenty are now dealing with a so-called friend who has traded the missing woman's car at an Auckland dealership.
Police understand that Ms Portman purchased a silver coloured 1999 VW Passat registration CQH76 for $2000.00 between 10 and 14 June 2012. She used the car for personal use, but she never changed the ownership of the vehicle to her name.
"On 19 June 2012 Rae took her VW Passat to a Hamilton workshop for a warrant of fitness. The car failed on a number of issues including worn tyres, worn seat belts, broken headlights and a worn steering wheel component", detective Inspector Mark Gutry said.
On June 2012, Rae drove the car to a friend in Auckland for him to repair.
From that evening onwards, Ms Portman has not made contact with her family members or friends, nor has she accessed her bank accounts. She was reported missing on 2 July 2012 by her mother Rebecca Norton.
"On 3 July Rae's friend who was fixing her car sent a public Facebook message disclosing that he still had Rae's vehicle and that he wanted to return it to Rae's family," said Mr Gutry.
A short time after that, a female associate of Rae's made contact with Rae's friend who was fixing the vehicle and made arrangements to pick it up on behalf of the Portman family.
The associate drove the car to her Auckland home.
On 17 July she changed the ownership of the VW Passat to her own name and traded it for $1000.00 at a car dealership at Western Springs, Auckland.
Police interviewed the defendant on 5 September and she explained she didn't have permission from Rae Portman or her family to collect the vehicle.
The offender appeared in the Auckland District Court this morning and has been remanded until 20 November 2012 for a status hearing.
Reparation was sought from the Court for $2000 for the vehicle and is to be paid to Rebecca Norton, Rae Portman's mother.
If you have an information, phone 0800 RAEPORTMAN.