Uh oh, owners can't get their cars out of body shop

LANSING, MI. (WILX) - You know the ad - "If you need collision or surface paint repair, then uh oh, better get Maaco!" But "uh oh," nobody can get their car out of this Lansing Maaco.

You know the ad - "If you need collision or surface paint repair, then uh oh, better get Maaco!" But "uh oh," nobody can get their car out of this Maaco. (Source WILX)

Some customers have been waiting to get their cars back from a Maaco shop in Lansing for more than seven months.

According to customers, nobody has heard from owner Doug Parks since around Thanksgiving and people want their vehicles back.Some of them are questioning if their cars are even in the shop's garage anymore.

Latasha and Corey Potter say they took the car they bought for their son for his birthday to the Maaco on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard more than two months ago and they gave the owner a large deposit. The Potters say they were going to give him the car as a surprise with a bow on it, and now he thinks he didn't get anything. After waiting patiently, they began to realize they weren't going to get the car back anytime soon.

"We came by and that's when it said it's a medical emergency," said Latasha Potter referring to a sign on the door stating Doug Parks was ill. "I wanted to make sure he was okay so I reached out to some of his family on social media; after some further research, it's starting to look like he maybe didn't want to be found."

They've reached out to the landlord, Larson Reality, but they haven't been able to open the shop for them because of a liability issue, according to their attorney. But that may be changing soon.

Deputy George Lammers from the Ingham County Sheriff's Office said, It's not unusual for people to up and leave stuff behind and walk away.

He added, "We see that with foreclosed homes and even renters when they know they're getting behind on rent."

According to documents obtained by News 10, a judge ruled on Jan.8 that Doug Parks owes his landlord, Larson Real Estate, more than $100,000 worth of rent and fees.

The judge also ruled that Larson Real Estate can now become the property owner after a mandatory 10 day waiting period expires, which means they'll finally be able to open the garage.

The Ingham County Sheriff's office plans to open the place up on January 23 and will release cars to owners if they show proof of ownership and a valid drivers license.

Its unclear whether or not people who paid upfront will ever see that money again, or even their cars.

This is a developing news story, WILX News 10 is working to get more details on this story, and will update the story as more information becomes available,

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