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I don't see what the body shop guys have to gain by refusing to tell you where your car is. I would think they want you to come pick it up and pay them something and get it out of their way. Honestly, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think your car is gone.

This is a long thread so maybe I overlooked it, but I've not seen where anyone has actually laid eyeballs on your car, The police detective says he was told it's in storage, but he's not seen it.

They are stalling, stonewalling, and delaying you to set the stage for claiming they sold it to cover unpaid storage fees.

JMHO
I suggested as much back in post #19.
Also I didnt see where it was mentioned how long the Elco has been in the possession ot the body guys. Has it been 9 months or 5 years. Body shops are well known for this type of activity. If one takes their classic to a body shop then stay on top of it. Make unannounced visits every few weeks. If things are stalled then ask why and start making alternate plans. I pulled my 69 out of a shop after 8 months because there was little to nothing being done, but ill bet I made a half dozen visits in that 8 months and to be honest I should have pulled it after 4 months.
Best suggestion of all is to learn to do the work yourself. Then you will have total control.
 

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The biggest mistake you made was getting all these second hand people involved in what should have been a civilized one on one with the owner. Finding the shop or the owner should have been your number one priority. Now it's completely out of control with storage fees going up everyday. Your frustrated because you think he was cheating you and the owner is insulted because you made him out as a crook. The first or second response on this thread should have been the route you took. And why would you think that hiring an attorney would be better than locating the owner by hiring a PI. Even the utility companies might have a record of water or electrical service to this person. That is if you actually had a name that wasn't bogus or a company name that he used. Sounds like you eventually found out he lives in a trailer park but now it's too late to start over. Your knocking on his door at a reasonable hour would certainly have let him know you can find him and a quick hand shake and discussion would have probably resolved everything in 10 minutes. Good luck.

Bullsh!t....This is classic victim blaming. The business owner is acting in bad faith here in countless ways. It's not the customers responsibility to play Private Eye.
 

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Find where the vehicle is if possible. Police can tell/help you, however recent anti police BS has them upset. Can't blame them.
Anyway when/if you locate the vehicle, if there is one or anything left of it, pay the fee and get it home if it's worth it. Yep a lot of "ifs".
Otherwise if not financially viable say F---I- and move on. "Lesson(s) learned and paid for."
Yes I know, no one wants to be screwed but there comes a time to walk away and get on with life.
Lots of nice Elcos still out in the world that are waiting for a new home ready to roll.
(EG:https://classiccars.com/listings/find/all-years/chevrolet/el-camino)
Good luck with whatever path you choose
 

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This is a very bad idea for several reasons.
a. What you are suggesting is a crime. Depending upon laws of the state it is
either a misdemeanor or a felony. But you will have plenty of time to sort that out while locked up in the county hotel.
b. Maybe the body guy has his own gun and after you put his life in danger he would have every right to shoot you in the head.
c. The police are not very helpful and I am not surprised but if one manages to pull this off they be surely paying you a visit and most likely their weapons will be drawn and pointed at you.

I know this is Colorado, but this isn’t 1882 where disputes are settled via handguns.
Well since the cops aren't at all interested in the first crime of his car being stolen, I'd take my chances.

As for the other points, it would be a mistake on both parties parts.
 
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I would too...or show up with a dozen guys un announced a tow truck and get your stuff. Let em know youre gonna get yourmoney one way or the other do NOT let up.
Scare it out of them if you have to. I dont buy the "walk away bs". He worked for it, his car!
 

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To the OP: Are you listed in the local phone book? It would be really hard for someone to claim they lost my number and couldn't contact me since I've been in the phone book my whole life.
 

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I would too...or show up with a dozen guys un announced a tow truck and get your stuff. Let em know youre gonna get yourmoney one way or the other do NOT let up.
Scare it out of them if you have to. I dont buy the "walk away bs". He worked for it, his car!
No offense, really but you are going to look kinda silly showing up with a dozen guys and a tow truck only to find the ElCamino isnt even there.
I totally agree its his car and the other parties involved appear to be less than honest. I hope he gets his car back but id say it is 50/50 at best. One cant get blood from a rock.
 

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I'm really interested to see what unfolds in this quest.
Sorry you(Cuisinartvette) felt my opinion was BS but I don't think it was any worse than your hard rock/ gun slinger "get your money one way or another" BS. Hahaha.:laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #111
The car is owned free and clear in my name only. I have a little too much specialty equipment into the car to just walk away - thats not really a consideration.

The attorney suggested today that I look for the individuals through the cities sales tax license division as one is "supposed" to have a sales tax license there, whether they sell parts or not. I checked for other licenses in their individual names and came up empty. I don't know the name of the business as it may have changed, and I always wrote checks to the fellow in his name.

The attorney has been working on a large case and is drafting the letter to the other attorney today, for my approval. It will be emailed to the other attorney today.

If she doesn't hear back in short order I'll follow the guy from his house to wherever the shop is. I hate mornings as a sleep apnea person and it will kill a days productive work, but so be it. I think the other attorney will reveal the location. The attorney will demand that the Elco be made available for inspection within a 7 day period. Maybe I'll take an auto apprasier or another body work person with me, who could provide a letter on the quality of the work.

After I have his attention through the attorney, I'll try to contact him directly and see if he'd like to save on attorney fees and settle this. The other fellow he has joined up with is certainly a "bad element" and he's easily influenced by the second fellow. him. Were it not for the other fellow, I would have done this differently.

Maybe I'l hear back from the Sales Tax division or the other attorney today. The sales tax division is working from home these days.
 
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Just curious..... how long have they actually had the car ??

I cant believe that if they are still in business that somebody at one of the paint stores wouldn't know where they are at.
 

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To the OP: Are you listed in the local phone book? It would be really hard for someone to claim they lost my number and couldn't contact me since I've been in the phone book my whole life.
What is a phone book?

I hate mornings as a sleep apnea person
That's a weak excuse. Strap that octopus to your face and go to bed earlier. 8 hours of sleep is 8 hours of sleep. Your sleep disorder does not know what time it is, only that you are sleeping. I've got it and have been getting up at 0430 M-F for several years without any problems. I know a lot of people that do the same. Don't be afraid. Heck, you may even want to start getting up early and going to the range for practice.

WTH? Seriously. Go get the damn car. It's yours. It isn't theirs. It's yours. Go get it.
 

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I don't know the name of the business as it may have changed, and I always wrote checks to the fellow in his name.
Just keep playing footsie with the attorneys, so this guy gets all the time in the world he needs to get a lien on your car for everything you have failed to pay on your car. I'm not talking just storage fees, but all the work that has gone into the car so far. Did you get receipts from him stating the checks your wrote went to the work on the car? No paperwork, it didn't happen. You paying him beer money means nothing in court.
 

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Just keep playing footsie with the attorneys, so this guy gets all the time in the world he needs to get a lien on your car for everything you have failed to pay on your car. I'm not talking just storage fees, but all the work that has gone into the car so far. Did you get receipts from him stating the checks your wrote went to the work on the car? No paperwork, it didn't happen. You paying him beer money means nothing in court.
:eek:

I'm afraid that sounds totally plausible


I feel for you man. I just hate it when people get treat like this.

It also shows the importance of a contract & receipts. The "body shop" may even use receipts to tag onto the bill. Just who's project the receipts may be for is a valid question.
 

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I'm starting to think about following him in the morning to his shop. The mobile home park he's in, is packed with mobile homes, but there is only one way out, and I can wait for him at the exit of the park and not look too obvious as if I was waiting outside his home. It should be a relatively short drive to where his shop is. As the sub-area outside Denver that the shop is supposed to located in, and is the same as where he lives - is relatively small, I'll only have to see him make a few turns while driving to narrow down the location.
I would do this and Then have a friend go by posing as a possible future customer. He could look over the shop and hopefully see an El Camino

Also, this has been asked multiple times without an answer - How Long has this been going on? You said years - 2, 5, 10?
 

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Were the cops involved local cops or state police? I can't get local cops around here to cross the street for free donuts.
I had a situation that I reported to the state police in Illinois and they were very helpful.
They have officers that specialize in Title and theft issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #120
The bodyshop's attorney has received a letter today, stating that this is civil theft. My attorney has asked for a time in the next 7 days for me to come inspect what has been done, and for the secret location to be revealed. I wasn't good at going in there and giving a bad check, etc as there was a good possibility that I couldn't contain myself and there would be violence and they would have two sides to their story and I wouldn't.

I'm paying my attorney to keep my own record clean - so to speak.

I've not answered the question on how long the vehicle as been there, confident that some will find new ways to blame me. I pay storage on some other vehicles and didn't really mind it taking longer, up to a point- those persons will want to highlight the last sentence and repost it. When it and the shop disappeared after a long period of excuses, things change quickly. Out of the blue, he would suddenly get something done. The partner he now has is a hothead, and I'm at least 1/2 of a hothead, so we wouldn't mix will together. He has no role in this, but thinks so. I once had a girlfriend who was half mexican and half irish- another bad combination of hotheads- lol. I learned to duck flying dishes quickly, but had enough of being a moving target.

I should know more soon.

I'm not in the phone book as I think thats only for landlines and most people opt out in the current sales world, Do Not Call list or not. The fellow ran his business contacts through his cell-phone. I lose a phone, put one through the washing machine, or get one stolen every few years, so that wouldn't work well for me.
 
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