Bronx auto shop accused of taking money from customers’ insurance companies

THE BRONX — A Bronx auto body shop stands accused of taking money from customers’ insurance companies, but not fixing their cars.

Inner City Automotive, on Blondell Avenue, is owned by Hancy Abreu.

“My car has been there for five months,” says nurse Leticia Alexander. "Every time I call I can’t get the owner. They say he’s not here, he’s sick.”

Her insurance company paid Inner City more than $18,000 to fix her late model BMW after it was involved in an accident. That was last December and she’s still waiting for it be repaired.

“They told me they were waiting on airbags, that airbags were back ordered”, says Alexander. “I called BMW myself and they said the airbags are not on back order.”

She has now hired an attorney to sue the body shop, hoping to get her car back.

Petrit Pepushaj has also been waiting since last December for his Toyota Highlander to be repaired. Two days after it was towed to Inner City Automotive, he tried to move his car to a Toyota dealer, but Inner City’s manager said Pepushaj would have to pay more than $5,000 to get his car out.

That included charges for towing, storage, and 30 percent of the estimated repair cost, even though no work had been done on the car. “I can’t pay $5,000s,” he told me, so he left the car at Inner City.

His insurance company wrote a check to the body shop for more than $14,000 in December and the car is still not fixed.

Steven Izarry knows Abreu from growing up in the same Bronx neighborhood. But that didn’t stop the body shop owner from ripping off Irizarry, who brought his Hyundai Sonata to Inner City after an accident.

That was three months ago. Irizarry’s insurance company issued a three party check for $9,500 to pay for the repairs, but he says he never signed that check.

“They signed my name. They forged my signature and cashed the check and didn’t use the money for parts. Abreu texted him, saying “We working on your car but getting junk yard parts for your car isn’t easy.”

When Irizarry said he was going to report the alleged forgery to the NYPD, Abreu texted “I don’t care about going to jail.”

Irizarry did call the police last week and they escorted him to the body shop. He took his car out of the shop, but he doesn’t have the money to pay another shop to fix it.

Irizarry and a number of other customers have spoken with the Bronx District Attorney’s office about Inner City and Abreu.

The D.A.’s spokesperson says “We are aware of the accusations and are taking appropriate action. If there are other possibly complainants…they should call… (718) 838-7686.”

In addition, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles says it is conducting an “active investigation” into Inner City Automotive.

I called Hancy Abreu. He hung up on me. I’ve left messages at the body shop, but he doesn’t return my calls. What a Shame!

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