MARIETTA, Ga. – Vehicle owners have reached out to FOX 5’s I-Team for help: They’ve dropped off their cars and trucks at a body shop and can’t find them. Police reports show many angry and confused customers.
When passing Marietta’s longtime business, Auto Innovations with its blue, yellow and red stripes, customers now see a freshly painted white building. Caleb Burnison just bought the space on Canton Road. It’s not even open yet, but it’s had a lot of visitors.
“So I had a number of people coming to pick up their cars,” he said.
If you go to Auto Innovations Websiteyou see store owner Shelly Jackson posted that it was “MOVED!”
“I’ve called several times. I’ve left voicemails. I haven’t received a response,” said customer Tracy Lewis.
Lewis said she dropped off her daughter’s car on Dec. 16 for a fender bender repair. In mid-January, frustrated, she and her father decided to drive by to see what the problem was.
“I said ‘Let me turn around. I must have passed him.’ It happens three times,” she said. “Finally my dad looks at me and says ‘Do you know where you got your car?’ I feel a little embarrassed at this point because I literally can’t find the building.”
Cobb County police reports tell the same story: Auto Innovations customers looking for their vehicles at a store they can no longer find.
Lewis said she spent weeks looking for their golden Prius. In mid-February, she reported her missing car to the police. Jackson of Auto Innovations told police, “all customers received an email saying the business was moving.”
“That’s not true,” Lewis said firmly.
The FOX 5 I-Team tried to talk to Shelly Jackson. No response at home, but we received a response from a company email address.
It says they are “currently CLOSED for a few days” as they are moving. But they are “unable to provide the new address” or any information about the current location of customers’ vehicles.”
That body shop is no longer there. The building is painted. The mailbox has disappeared. And customer vehicles too.
Auto Innovations carried the NAPA AutoCare program logo on the front of the company. The FOX 5 I-Team reached out to see if they might know more about the ongoing situation. NAPA Auto Parts responded that they do not own the Marietta business, but Auto Innovations participated in its AutoCare program. And, in light of these events, ended the relationship. Below is the full statement.
“We are investigating the situation involving Auto Innovations and taking action to support their affected customers. It is important to clarify that Auto Innovations is not owned or operated by NAPA, but is an independent automotive repair facility that has participated in our AutoCare program. We have terminated their association with NAPA upon becoming aware of this situation. Although we are not involved in the business operations of this shop, we understand the frustrations of Auto Innovations customers and will do our best to fix things.
Lewis hired a lawyer demanding the return of his car. She says it appeared one day in the driveway still not fixed.
“My car is literally around the corner in my driveway. No one knocked on the door,” she said. “The key was in the flowerpot.”
Police notes show that some vehicles are stored opposite the former Auto Innovations store on Canton Road and at Automotive blessings in Kennesaw.
The site of the former Auto Innovations is being renovated. The new owner wants to make it clear that he knows nothing about the previous owner or the whereabouts of their vehicles.
“I feel really bad for customers who don’t know where to turn and don’t know what to do,” Caleb Burnison said.
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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