Two weeks after News 5 Investigates confronted employees at AAG Auto Hail Repair about stealing a customer’s insurance money, Vernon Jones is still waiting to get a refund or his truck fixed.
The “pop up” repair tent is accused of forging Jones’ name to get more than $5,000 from State Farm but never finished the work they promised.
Pictured above: Vernon Jones
Employees appeared to be shutting down when Chief Investigative Reporter Eric Ross showed up to ask questions, but our hidden cameras found them back up and running a few days later, soliciting new customers.
“If you don’t stop recording I’m going to sue your ass,” one employee said.
Our News 5 Investigates crew did not receive a warm welcome when we initially stopped by AAG Auto Hail Repair to ask about the signature on the back of an insurance check that Jones claims is not his handwriting.
“That is not my signature,” Jones told News 5. “I know how to spell my own name.”
Last month, Jones dropped his truck off for repairs but after waiting weeks, he asked for his car and unsigned insurance check back the company collected up front as collateral. That’s when Jones found out the check was cashed.
Some employees ignored our questions, while others packed up their tools and acted like they were leaving.
Two days later, we received a news tip that AAG Hail Repair was back open for business on the same street (1900 block of S. Academy).
Our undercover cameras confirmed AAG was still open.
On July 19 around 3:20 in the afternoon, we witnessed employees working on a customer’s car.
On July 24, we saw another SUV underneath the hail repair tent.
Employees spotted our cameras and when we returned on Friday, July 27, the tent was gone. However, we saw an AAG work car and trailer still in the parking lot.
Chief Photojournalist Adam Knapik also noticed a brand new windshield in a box.
“I’ve been watching News 5 and saw that these people come from out of town and then only thing they want is your money and don’t want to help you,” Jones said. “I don’t want nobody else done the way I got done.”
Jones did get his truck back, unfinished.
Both State Farm Insurance and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office tell News 5 Investigates this matter should be handled by Colorado Springs police.
News 5 also notified the Better Business Bureau after the owner of AAG, Hector Pinedo, put BBB logos on his truck and brochures. We confirmed AAG Auto Hail Repair is not an accredited business.
“When a business uses the BBB Accredited seal/BBB torch logo/BBB/Better Business Bureau without permission, this constitutes trademark infringement and is a violation of the Council of Better Business Bureau’s trademark rights,” Mary Wagner, a spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau said. ” Moreover, this use may constitute false and deceptive advertising in violation of state and federal statutes because it falsely implies BBB endorsement or affiliation. Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado reviews advertisements on a regular basis, contacting advertisers when it is believed the advertisement could be in violation of the Code. Upon contacting the advertiser, they are asked to substantiate, modify or discontinue claims. This includes instances of trademark infringement.”
Colorado Springs police say they have opened a criminal investigation. As new updates become available, we’ll be sure to bring them to you both on-air and online at KOAA.com.