UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOV.com) – After a flat tire Friday, Sarah Ellis’ car was towed to Firestone on Forsyth on the University City and Clayton border.
“[The mechanic] made a point of saying, “We are incredibly busy this weekend, so I will not be able to access your vehicle within the usual time frame, are you okay with that?” Maybe that’s why things turned out the way they did, “she said.
Ellis refers to a shocking theft, which left five vehicle owners without their cars and owners at the store looking for answers.
University Town Police said at least five vehicles were stolen in Firestone early Monday morning. The suspects smashed a window, took the keys to a safe inside the store, and then stole the cars from the Firestone parking lot.
“We came back from [our] trip on Sunday and I had not heard from them yet. On Monday morning I gave them a call to see if the vehicle was ready to be picked up, they informed me at that time that my vehicle and five others had been stolen, “said Alex Gentile.
There is crime surveillance video, but police have refused to release it at this time. For those who have lost their vehicles, questions about store safety loom on the horizon.
“I think when you’re a company tasked with protecting hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in customer property, with all these vehicles out there, you would do a better job taking care of the vehicles and the safety. ” said Gentil.
After more than 36 hours of trying to reach someone at Firestone headquarters, Gentile said he would call News 4 to tell his story. Then the phone rang.
“I got a phone call from their district manager. Although he apologized, he made it clear that they didn’t want anything to do with this. There is no cure on their side. C This is an issue that needs to be dealt with between me and my insurance company and that they would not take any responsibility for my car or the other five stolen cars on their property, ”he said.
News 4 has spoken to other auto repair services nationwide as well as local services, and most say since the keys were in Firestone’s possession at the time of the theft, they could be held responsible .
News 4 tried calling several Firestone district and corporate numbers on Wednesday, and our efforts were rewarded with transfers to voicemail or call back promises.
But instead of a call, Firestone’s communications director sent an email that avoided answering one of the many questions about the company’s liability in thefts.
For now, Gentile and Ellis are dealing with their insurance company.
“It will be up to them to determine who is responsible in this matter, but it’s a little frustrating to think that my insurance premiums will more than likely go up because of their negligence and irresponsibility,” said Gentile.
University town police said all cars had been located and most of them were damaged. Customers have yet to recover their vehicles as detectives continue to file evidence as part of their investigation.