Police intervention required to get veteran his car back from hail repair shop

Posted at 5:44 PM, Jul 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-08 15:19:02-04

News 5 Investigates uncovered a local hail repair tent on the southeast side of Colorado Springs may have committed insurance fraud and forgery after signing a customer’s insurance check and failing to finish the job.

Vernon Jones dropped his car off at AAG Auto Hail Repair three weeks ago, but says the company has made excuses and delayed repairs.

He says he asked for his truck and unsigned insurance check back so he could take his business elsewhere. That’s when he learned someone from the company had already cashed his check and received more than $5,470.

Jones alleges the signature on the insurance check is a forgery and pointed out that his name is spelled incorrectly. News 5 Investigates compared the alleged forgery to Vernon’s known signatures and noticed discrepancies.

After our investigation, we learned Colorado Springs police were called to “keep the peace” so Jones could pick up his Dodge truck from the repair tent.

News 5 has reached out to Colorado Springs police to find out whether a criminal investigation is underway. We are waiting to hear back.

Tips to avoid getting ripped off: 

There are many legitimate businesses out there. However, it’s important to check the history of the business. If the business is advertising that they are a BBB accredited organization, call the Better Business Bureau and verify that information.

Make sure you get a contract in writing that shows the date you drop off your car, along with an estimated pickup or repair time frame.

If you are going to a “pop up” hail repair tent, ask whether the company has an actual business address or storefront locally. Some companies may be from out of town and while that is perfectly legal, it could pose problems if you have a dispute down the road and the company is no longer available to answer your questions.

If you suspect insurance fraud, you should report it immediately to law enforcement, your insurance company and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.

No one from AAG Auto Hail Repair could explain to News 5 who signed Jones’ check and why his name was misspelled on the back.

Pictured above: Hector Pinedo, Owner of AAG Auto Hail Repair