MARIETTA, Ga. – Vehicle owners have reached out to the FOX 5 I-Team for help: They dropped off their cars and trucks to an auto body shop and now can’t find them. Police reports show customers many angry and confused customers.
When they drive by the longtime Marietta business Auto Innovations with its blue, yellow, and red strips, customers now see a freshly painted white building. Caleb Burnison just bought the space on Canton Road. He’s not even open yet, but he’s had a lot of visitors.
“So, I’ve had quite a number of people coming by looking for their cars,” he said.
If you go to the Auto Innovations website, you see shop owner Shelly Jackson posted that it’s “MOVED!”,
“I called a couple of times. Left voicemail messages. Didn’t get responses,” customer Tracy Lewis said.
Lewis said she dropped off her daughter’s car on Dec. 16 for a fender bender repair. By mid-January, frustrated, she and her father decided to drive by to see what the holdup was.
“I said ‘Let me turn around. I must’ve passed it.’ This happens three times,” she said. “Finally, my dad looks at me and says ‘Do you know where you took your car?’ I’m feeling a little embarrassed at this point because I literally cannot find the building.”
Cobb County police reports tell the same story: Auto Innovations customers looking for their vehicles at a shop they can no longer find.
Lewis said she spent weeks looking for their gold Prius. By mid-February, she reported her missing car to police. Jackson of Auto Innovations told police, “all clients received an email the business was relocating.”
“That is not true,” Lewis said firmly.
The FOX 5 I-Team tried to talk to Shelly Jackson. No answer at home, but we did get a response from a company email address.
It says they are “currently CLOSED for a few short days” because they’re moving. But they are “unable to provide the new address” or any information about where customer vehicles are right now.”
This body shop is no longer here. The building is painted. The mailbox is gone. And so are customers’ vehicles.
Auto Innovations carried the NAPA AutoCare program logo on the front of the business. The FOX 5 I-Team reached out to see if perhaps they knew more about the unfolding situation. NAPA Auto Parts responded that they do not own the Marietta business, but Auto Innovations did participate in their AutoCare program. And, in light of these events, has terminated the relationship. Below is the full statement.
“We are investigating the situation involving Auto Innovations and taking action to support their impacted customers. It is important to clarify that Auto Innovations is not owned or operated by NAPA but is an independently owned auto repair shop that participated in our AutoCare program. their association with NAPA upon learning of this situation. While we are not involved in the business operations of this shop, we understand the frustrations of Auto Innovations’ customers and will do everything we can to make things right.”
Lewis hired an attorney demanding the return of her car. She says it showed up one day in the driveway still not repaired.
“My car is literally catty-corner in my driveway. No one knocked on the door,” she said. “The key was in the flower pot.”
Police notes show some vehicles are being stored across the street from the old Auto Innovations shop on Canton Road and at Automotive Blessings in Kennesaw.
The site of the former Auto Innovations is undergoing renovation. The new owner wants to be clear that he knows nothing about the previous owner or the whereabouts of their vehicles.
“I just feel really bad for the customers who don’t know where to turn and don’t know what to do,” said Caleb Burnison.
If you are looking for your vehicle left for repair at Auto Innovations, contact the Cobb County police department and file an official incident report.
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