Feb. 22, 2023–Nearly a dozen car owners found their vehicles impounded after being towed from a body shop after the owner stopped paying rent and responding to customers, Fox 19 reports.
Bennetts Body Shop in Middletown, Ohio, had more than ten vehicles being worked on, but owner Tom Bennett had failed to pay his rent for “two to three months.”
The shop was operated out of a building owned by Tom Young, who said he had made numerous attempts to work with Bennett. He “didn’t want to ask Bennett to leave,” but eventually, Bennett told Young he would be out by Feb. 6, which was false.
“I took him at his word, but the building was full of cars, and there were five cars outside,” Young recounted.
When he attempted to obtain vehicle owners’ info from Bennett so they could retrieve their vehicles, “he just wouldn’t respond,” Young said.
Owners eventually were able to locate their vehicles at Steve’s Towing, where owner Steve Gebhardt waived some of the affected drivers’ towing fees; the rest paid a discounted price.
Regardless, many are still left with a huge net loss. Julie Holmes had her car at Bennett’s for “a little over a year,” for repairs she was told would take four months.
According to Holmes, Bennett was “initially polite,” but became unresponsive. She only found out what happened to her car through a Facebook post her stepson saw.
After retrieving the vehicle, paying the impound fees, and towing it back home, the family was out $3,000, and their vehicle is still in disrepair.