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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Is a Service Shop Liable if Your Vehicle is Stolen from its Premises

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Tennessee.

    Earlier in the week of 12 August 2017, transmission on my 98 Durango started acting up. As I made the 4 hr trip back down to Knoxville, TN on 11 August 2017 and as I made the journey I searched for a service center that I thought best suited the needs of a diagnosis of the transmission and also my needs of having to go back out of town at 3:00am on the 12th of August 2017! So after speaking with two separate employees at this shop I was told by both of the employees in the early afternoon of 11 August 2017 that I could drop it off at the time I had specified do to mine necessity of returning back to work for some OT. Bc they have a dropbox that I could put my key in a little note with my name and number So they know who's car was his and I could head on back to work.

    Also I chose this place of business because I was informed that they give free diagnostics which I'm having transmission trouble and that's expensive so saving $100 dollars right off rip, was a good deal, and because of my line of work I have very little time to do things like that because I'm in construction and work out of townand I'm gone most of the week. So I get to the shop at around 3 AM on 12 August 2017, transfer all my tools and equipment over to my bosses truck and meet me there rub my little note That I was asked to write given a small description of what my vehicle was doing. As I got everything ready to go I went to put the key in the dropbox, and come to find out there is no dropbox. So at this point, it's too late to wait and figure something else out because I was gonna be late for work and I have a 4 Hour Dr. ahead of me and I wasn't passing of a free diagnostic!

    So I rewrote a note giving the mechanic instructions to give me a call because I hid the keys underneath my hood to give myself a piece of mind about leaving my truck there unattended. Again not something normal that I would usually do with my personal property but at this point I have no choice I was gonna be late for work and I can't afford to miss a day at work, and I hid them pretty well. So I proceeded on to work.

    Somewhere in between 10 AM to 11 AM I returned a missed call from the mechanic and he proceeded to ask me where I had placed the keys, so i assume they were hidden pretty well. He told me to give him about two hours I was going to go test drive it and diagnose it figured out and then you give me a call back three hours go by and I decide I don't want to wait any longer, so around probably somewhere in between 2 PM and 3 PM on 12 August 2017 I gave him a call back. The moment he answered the phone and I told him who I was and what I was calling about he gave me this classic statement that you never want to hear Due to the majority of the time it's a lie...and I quote, "oh, hey John, I was just about to call you."

    at that time he proceeded to give me the diagnosis of my vehicle and we talked about prices and what needs to be done and how much it would cost for however I wanted to work it. I told him that I simply greatly appreciated his efforts and his professional opinion but could work on the vehicle myslelf I just need the transmission diagnostics done because I don't have a software or the technology to diagnose I told him that I would be back sometime Saturday, 13 August 2017 to pick up my vehicle and take it to my shop at home and he told me that they were not open on the weekends.

    So I requested that he put my keys to my truck in the same spot that he got them when he moved the truck into the shop today diagnose it. Hey said well yeah I can do that I don't have no problem with putting them right back where I got them. I said thank you and I greatly appreciate your assistance and your Diagnosis, and that I would keep in contact with him and keep him in mind if I wanted to have him do some work hey said OK we hung up the phone I finished out the day of work on 12 August 1217 woke up work the day of the 13th showed back up in Knoxville right around five maybe six in the afternoon pulled up the road take a right into the parking lot my truck wasn't there I was gone of course I got out I checked the inside of the shop, it was empty

    I had requested the keys be put back in the same spot he had found them to diagnose it but the second time I had spoke with him about the situation he said that someone els had worked on it and put the keys under the drivers side floor mat.... I don't own floor mats at all!
    Plz if you have and advice for this or questions plz post thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: My Suv Was Stolen from the Service Shop

    Unfortunately, you are the one who left your keys in an unlocked vehicle and instructed the employee to put the keys back in the unlocked vehicle.

    I doubt if you'll ever be able to prove that there was an agreement to put the vehicle inside the building or even that there was a duty to do so.

    You have a laundry list of reasons why you left your keys in an unlocked vehicle but none of them impute any negligence on the part of the repair shop.

    I don't imagine that you have theft insurance on your almost 20 year old Durango.

    If you don't, you're welcome to sue in small claims court and see if you can convince a judge that the shop employees had a duty to safeguard your vehicle beyond what they did.

    I don't see it.

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