CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Victor Oddo wants to know what happened to his car during the three weeks it was in the care of a Clearwater repair shop.
And he has good reason to be curious – and furious. Oddo received two parking tickets and two toll charges – in different counties – all while the 2003 Jeep Liberty was supposed to be at Mustang Speed & Restoration.
There’s more: Oddo claims that while he was cleaning up the car after he picked it up, he found sand and stains in the backseat, clothing tags and a pink, lacy thong in the back under the passenger seat.
“People are joyriding in my car while I’m sitting here having to walk everywhere,” Oddo said.
Oddo turned to Better Call Behnken for answers. Here’s what we know:
Oddo says he dropped off the Jeep on Jan. 15 because the engine light was on. Text messages between him and the owner document three weeks of slow progress before he finally picked up the Jeep on Feb. 6. He claims it’s still not fully repaired.
Then came parking tickets in the mail. On Saturday, Jan. 18 at 12:58 a.m., somebody got a $40 ticket at Ben T. Davis Beach in Tampa. Then, at 5:11 p.m. the same day, someone got a $30 ticket for an expired meter in Clearwater.
On Jan. 23, the following Thursday when it was still in the repair shop’s custody, there were two Sunpass charges on the Sunshine Skyway bridge. One was going north at 10:58 a.m. and one was going south at 12:24 p.m.
When asked about all of this, repair shop owner Jeff Arthur first told Investigator Shannon Behnken that none of this happened and that the car wasn’t at the shop yet. When asked about the text messages indicating the car was dropped off on Jan. 15 and picked up Feb. 6, he said he would investigate and question his employees.
He said he didn’t believe any of his employees would joyride in a “$250 Jeep.”
When reached by phone the next week, Arthur said the only person who could have possibly taken the Jeep on a joyride was currently in jail on murder charges. He declined to provide details, like a name, so that the story could be verified. He added that the alleged murder took place after Oddo picked up his Jeep. Arthur then cut off communication with Better Call Behnken.
At one point, Arthur said he would pay for the parking tickets, but Oddo says he has not heard from him.
Oddo, a commercial driver, tells Investigative Reporter Shannon Behnken that he plans to dispute the tickets in court because he worries they could impact his license.
“I don’t want these on my record,” Oddo said.
Meanwhile, Oddo also complained to Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and a spokesman said this is under investigation.
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