MATTHEWS, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A day after a FOX 46 investigation into an auto repair shop's questionable practices, police have opened an investigation into the business.
"It's something we're concerned about," said Tim Aycock, a public information officer for Matthews police. "It's currently under investigation, so I can't give a whole lot of details right now, but it's definitely something worth looking into."
Jerome Jones said he paid Uptown Collision $4,000 to fix the rear door on his 2006 BMW.
"They said like 10 days maximum," said Jones.
More than two months later, the shop still had his car and Jones was left with a $750 rental car bill and a car that still wasn't fixed.
"I was just wanting to get my car back," said Jones. "It was miserable."
Jones said he was so fed up he took his unfinished car back. The trim is missing. The brake and engine lights now come on. There is now a hole in the windshield that did not need replacing but for some reason was swapped out for a non-BMW glass.
And the door that was fixed randomly has a tinted window when the rest of the car doesn't.
"I just think they took this whole door off another old car or something and put it up there and painted the car the same color," said Jones. "This door is not matching. Tinted glass? It's just ridiculous."
Jones filed a police report as did Jeff Phifer, a Charlotte firefighter, whose white Ford F-150 also sat in the same lot for more than two months.
"If it's a chronic issue where a business owner is taking money from people," said Aycock, "That definitely could be a scam and that would obviously be illegal."
Like Jones, Phifer said his phone calls went unreturned. FOX 46 helped him get his truck out and found a Charlotte business, Caliber Collision, that offered to fix it for free.
The owner of Uptown Collision, Jafar Saniri, first said he was waiting on parts then said his lawyer would contact FOX 46. No lawyer has reached out and Saniri has stopped responding to text message questions.
One of his employees says Saniri stopped showing up to work and said there are "quite a bit" of other cars that have not been worked on. Jones said that an employee told him the money he paid to fix his car went to something else.
"He said the guy (Saniri) is using the money to go to auctions and buy more cars to get ready for tax season," he said, "To sell cars to make more profits."
Jones told that to investigators with Matthews police, who photographed his BMW Thursday. Saniri did not respond to multiple requests for comment.