MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Felicia Banks is furious.
She is without her 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee after she says she took it to Christian Brothers Automotive on Sonic Drive in Southeast Memphis.
“I took it there for them to do the service work. Check the air conditioner and to see if the transmission needed to be worked or be replaced,” she said
Banks called it routine maintenance. But what happened next was nothing routine.
After dropping her car off June 16, she went to pick it up a week later and got the bad news. Banks says workers took her outside.
“They said, ‘Ms. Banks, my apologies. Your vehicle has been vandalized,’” she said. “They just said someone came on property and vandalized multiple vehicles on their property.”
She filed a police report saying her rear passenger-side window glass was shattered and items were stolen from inside her vehicle.
Police said there was video surveillance and officers observed several other vehicles that appeared to have been broken into.
Banks says her car’s security system apparently engaged and locked up, keeping the thieves from stealing it. But that also made the car inoperable.
Workers told her they would get the vehicle back into an operable state as well as replace the window, and keep it in the shop bay.
But that was just the start.
Days later, she thought her car was ready for pickup when Christian Brothers called again.
“They called me back and said, ‘We have bad news for you. Your vehicle was stolen off our property,’” Banks said. “I was stunned. I couldn’t figure out how we went from, OK the window is broken, to the entire vehicle is gone.”
She says the repair shop’s response shocked her even more.
“He said to me if your vehicle was stolen off Kroger lot, you shouldn’t expect anything. You shouldn’t be upset with us about the crime in Memphis,” she said.
According to Banks, her car was on the street in front of the repair shop and not even secured on the shop parking lot.
“I did not expect them to stick my vehicle back outside with no window, open and available for anybody who wants to steal it,” Banks said. “From my understanding it wasn’t supposed to be back out there. It was supposed to be in the bay.”
Police say surveillance video shows two males with tools opening her driver-side door and driving away in her vehicle. Video shows another vehicle also being taken that same day.
Now Banks is left without a car she still has to pay for, and an insurance deductible she feels she shouldn’t have to pay.
“I would like for them to replace my vehicle. It was stolen in your possession,” Banks said. “I entrusted you all and the Christian thing to do, that’s what your motto and that’s what the statement is on your website is, to hold up to that.”
We went to Christian Brothers Automotive on Sonic Drive to get a response about Banks’ vehicle and others that have been vandalized or stolen while being repaired.
Workers told us we would have to speak with the owner, who wasn’t there, but he would call us.
He never did.
When we called them back, we were told the owner decided he’s not going to make any comments about the case.
For a frustrated Banks, that’s not good enough.
“I have nothing, you know, and it really hurts my feelings that they feel like they don’t have to talk to me or explain to me, where do we go from here,” Banks said.
There are several Christian Brothers Automotive repair shops around town, but this report only concerned the one on Sonic Drive in southeast Memphis.
They have an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, but they have a one-star customer review.