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Contact 6 investigates United Custom Car Care after complaints

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MILWAUKEE -- Some customers are so angry with an auto repair shop, they came to FOX6's Contact 6 for help.

From the outside, Unique Custom Car Care on 24th and Capitol looks good. The shop is under new management, just like the other location at 90th and Brown Deer Road.

Customers came to Contact 6 with complaints they had their cars stuck there for months, and say their rides are now worse off.

"They said 'everything works, except that we just can't start it.' I said 'I know why y'all can't start it. Y'all taking parts off my truck!'" Jackie Jordan said.

"My car did start up when I brought it in, it just over heated, but now I can't even start it up. They took the battery out and I had to go get a new battery," Kendra Armstrong said.

Contact 6 has received seven other similar complaints -- most filed this spring. Digging deeper, Contact 6 found frustrations running extremely high.

"The guy that brought the car he says 'I want my car fixed right and I want it fixed now!' He said 'I want the owner of that shop and everybody to come out here and I'm going to whoop their ass one by one or if not I'm gonna shoot this place all across!'" Jordan said.

Customers threatened violence, but it was the owner who pulled the trigger. Anthony Smith confessed to shooting a man who came in to see about his sister's car. The criminal complaint says Smith and the man got into an argument and Smith told everyone else to leave the shop. Then, Smith took out a nine millimeter and shot the guy in the left leg, above the knee.

Smith is out on bond and scheduled to be sentenced in August.

"He really needs to be exposed and punished for what he's doing!" Armstrong said.

When neither Smith nor his wife responded to Contact 6's letters and calls, Contact 6's Katrina Cravy went to talk with them.

The receptionist didn't respond, and then realized Contact 6 wasn't leaving.

Cravy was sent outside and back inside several times, but Smith wasn't there.

After more than six minutes of getting the runaround, a man who had been working on a car came forward, introducing himself as the manager -- Mark Bagniewski.

Bagniewski admitted the shops have had problems and Smith and his wife hired him recently to clean it up.

"As far as their involvement with the business, it's very limited. I kinda take it all over and report back to them. You can't change the past but I can try and fix the future," Bagniewski said.

Smith's wife called Contact 6 later and said customers were to blame, and she wasn't going to give any refunds.

When it comes to finding a good mechanic, Contact 6 says:

  • get referrals from people you trust
  • check companies out with the Better Business Bureau before doing business
  • check CCAP for any court cases involving the business or owners

CLICK HERE to file a complaint with FOX6's Contact 6.