It likely went to an impound yard and some kind of shenanigans ensued. I do not know what the salvage damage price threshold is now in California, but it used to be real low. Insurance company can also cause salvage to happen. Multiple avenues to get screwed in these scenarios in California. Why we used to not give much credence to salvage titles if the car was still solid.Salvage title as a result of theft recovery. How does that come about?