Tecumseh Auto Shop Owner Accused Of Stealing From Customers
TECUMSEH, Oklahoma - An auto mechanic accused of bilking his customers out of thousands of dollars is behind bars.
Patriot Auto owner Keith Wheeler was arrested Thursday by Tecumseh police.
Police say his victims like Bobbie Schawo paid upfront but didn’t get a lot in return.
“It was supposed to have been fixed but actually it got tore up,” said Schawo.
Schawo says when her car started having problems, she went to Patriot Auto. Despite paying upfront, she says the work was delayed.
I told him over the phone, I said, I need it, it’s the only vehicle I got. That didn’t bother him none,” said Schawo
And while it took two weeks to complete, Schawo says the repairs lasted less than 24 hours.
She says Wheeler told her she was out of her money and out of luck.
“That’s when I got mad. I said well goodbye! He said goodbye too,” said Schawo.
Bonita Smith was taken too. She's out of $1,000 and a home, after paying Wheeler for a camper trailer she never got.
“In the meantime, I don’t have a place to live – you know, basically of my own. That’s what that was to me, that was my own,” said Smith.
She says after Wheeler dodged her calls, she went back to his shop to confront him in person, only to be lied to.
“He said leave me alone, I had a stroke. And one minute he's talking out of one side of his mouth with the right eye closed, then the next minute he’s talking out of the left side of his mouth with his left eye closed,” said Smith.
Wheeler says she left, but after returning a second time Wheeler told her her money was gone.
“That he had gone to the casino with his wife and the two had blown it. And when the money was all gone, she left with another guy,” said Smith.
Smith contacted police. And after giving them the runaround, Wheeler was placed under arrest.
Police have taken similar reports. They believe there could be more victims.