MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the manager of Pep Boys Auto Service on Frayser Boulevard, it can be hard to hire new employees because of a high rate of crime nearby. But he said they have not had any major issues until this week.
That incident happened Sunday night, when 19-year-old Lamanuel Perry broke into the shop's garage and stole a Chrysler sedan, according to police.
He did not have it for long.
Police said Perry crashed the vehicle the next day, and even signed for the ticket with the stolen car.
Then on Tuesday, Perry went back to Pep Boys and stole another car. This time it was a Honda Pilot belonging to Dawn Shoates. She said the suspect was able to get in and start the car because the key was left in the car.
Perry hit and destroyed a fence of the shop while trying to leave.
“There were sparks, fire, smoke," Shoates said. "The car is still there. All I know is police came and towed my car."
Shoates said she has been a customer of the auto shop for years, even before Pep Boys bought it. But she has questions like why police didn’t detain the suspect after the accident with the first stolen car.
In documents, police said it’s because they hadn’t finished putting the theft into the system.
She also wanted to know why Pep Boys left her keys in her car.
“That’s like putting the bulls eye on my car and saying, 'Hey, get this car.’ It’s mind-blowing," she said.
The shop's manager said he is changing policy, and keys will now get put in a safe.
Perry is now in jail on a $2,000 bond.
Shoates said she also now has insurance bills to pay.