Customers searching for missing cars after repair shop closes on southwest side

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An auto repair shop on Indy's southwest side is out of business and customers are still looking for their missing cars.

This week, multiple owners have reported their cars stolen.

Aside from car parts and spare tires, there’s not much left at the now-vacant repair shop near Holt and Kentucky. It’s not clear how many customers may have been ripped off when the business closed, but two women did file police reports this week and are wondering where their cars went.

“Both my vehicles are gone, so I reported them both stolen,” said Lisa Pinson.

Lisa says she took two cars to Pierce Automotive for repairs, which went on for months. Just before the business closed, Lisa learned they sold her SUV, even though she still has the title.

“I said, 'Where is my truck at?' The mechanic said they already sold the truck. It was gone,” said Pinson.

A street view from last summer shows a parking lot full outside the business. While the cars have since vanished, the frustrated customers remain.

“I know I’m not the only person because there were so many cars there and all of them are gone,” said Pinson.

“I just lost all contact with the owner and realized the shop went out of business and now I don’t know where my car is at all,” said Sheila Smith.

Smith says the last time she saw her Toyota Prius, it was up on blocks with the engine dumped in a pile on the floor.

Pinson says she partially paid for repairs that were never completed and is still making payments on her car even though it too has vanished.

“I get that you went out of business and stuff happens, but you could give us a call and say your car is here. We got nothing,” said Smith.

“You’re going to want to file a police report and make sure your insurance knows the situation of the car,” said Tim Maniscalo with the Better Business Bureau.

Aside from filing a theft report in this case, experts say the best advice for all customers to avoid being ripped off in the future is to check out reviews for companies before you hire them.

“It’s always a good idea to do your homework. Make sure you know who you’re doing business with,” said Maniscalo.

“It’s just frustrating. It really is frustrating,” said Pinson. “I’d really like to have my cars back because I have no car.”

We did try to reach out to the owner for comment, but his voice mail box was full.

Although the signs outside the business say Decatur Auto Service, the dispute involves Pierce Automotive. The former owner of Decatur Auto says he sold the company and Pierce never replaced the old signs.

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