Woman at odds with auto shop after car gets stolen

June 19, 2013 8:24:42 PM PDT
A Houston driver says she brought her truck in for transmission work but never got her vehicle back after the repairs were done. Now she's looking for the shop to pay for her vehicle.

What seemed like a standard repair job, turned into an automotive nightmare. Before the customer got their truck back, someone stole the vehicle from the shop.

Brandi Williams and her husband brought their Suburban to Choice One Autocare on Highway 6 on June 1. But on June 7 ...

"I received a phone call from my husband stating that someone had stole the truck," Williams said.

Williams tells us the shop left the keys in the truck.

"Teenager they believe jumped in the truck, drove over the median -- there's a car wash next to it -- drove over the median and drove off on Highway 6," Williams said.

A police report was filed, but no sign of the Suburban to date. But it doesn't stop there.

"The owner, Mr. Dalu, will not give us his insurance information," Williams said.

Williams says the shop owner wanted her to put in a claim with her insurance company, taking on the financial responsibility.

When we reached out to Choice One Autocare, they declined to talk on camera but provided this statement:

"We offered to pay him the blue book value for the vehicle, less the cost of our repairs in exchange for the title to the vehicle. We are prepared to work with the Williams, their insurance company or other representatives to come to an amicable resolution of this matter."

"If you take your car somewhere to be repaired and the car is stolen, the repair shop isn't responsible," said Richard Alderman, the people's lawyer.

However, Alderman says in this case, the legal outcome could be different.

"Leaving the keys in the car could be considered negligence and made it easier, in fact made it possible, for the car to be stolen, and the shop would be responsible," Alderman said.

Williams is also concerned about something else.

"His business cards show that he is BBB accredited. He is not," Williams said.

"We actually contacted them back in September regarding a complaint that alleged they were using our BBB logo without authorization, and they denied it," said Monica Russo with the Houston Better Business Bureau.

Officials with the Houston BBB say even if you see the BBB logo affiliated with a business, you should always double check if they are.

At this point, the shop and car owner can not come to an agreement, so the vehicle owner is considering legal action.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13


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