COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Embattled auto shop Springs Transmissions and Automotive is in more trouble after customer cars were sold to a scrap metal yard and destroyed.
Shop owner Greg Ehnes is already accused of fraud and lying to police in two separate cases. Ehnes confirmed to TARGET 13 Investigates Friday that at least three of his customers' cars ended up at Western Scrap Processing.
"I'm very upset," Ehnes said. "I'm in the headlights with the police department anyway, and then I learn this."
Ehnes claims a former employee was supposed to tow several cars owned by Springs Transmissions to the scrap metal yard, but that the man took customer vehicles too.
TARGET 13 asked Ehnes if he took responsibility because the cars were in his care.
"I definitely feel responsible," Ehnes said.
Colorado Springs Police said financial crimes detectives are investigating nine cars sold to Western Scrap Processing. The general manager of the yard, Joe Yost, said he ran the VIN numbers for the cars and realized one was stolen. He said that's what prompted the police investigation.
The vehicles were crushed and stacked by a crane, but now sit lined up on the lot.
TARGET 13 talked to one woman whose white BMW was destroyed.
"I'm shocked," said Linda Gran. "My father had given it to me. It was a special vehicle."
Gran said she's gotten car repairs from Ehnes for almost three decades, and knows him as honest and reliable.
"It's hard for me to believe that he personally would have ordered that car to be taken to the scrap yard," said Gran. "It just seems to me someone else was involved in the removal of the car from Springs Transmissions and took it down there."
Some customers rushed to Springs Transmissions after hearing news reports of the destroyed cars.
"We were lucky to find a car here," said Donna Cox. "With that many cars going to the scrap yard, of course we thought it would be ours."
Cox said her car has been in and out of Springs Transmissions for eight months. She said she plans to find a new place to get her repairs done.
Ehnes said he believes he was targeted, not only by an employee, but by other thieves. He said six to seven cars are missing from his lot. He said people have broken into his gate and that police did not lock the shop when they raided it last week.
Ehnes claims he is going to make it right with those who lost their cars.
"Reimburse them," he said. "I'll have to. It's only right."
Colorado Springs police detectives are now trying to figure out who is at fault for the destroyed cars and what charges they'll face.