Better Call Behnken: Auto shop keeping woman’s Ford Mustang hostage even though she tries to pay

(WFLA) – Catherine Voorhees’ 2004 Ford Mustang has been in the shop for a new engine since July. She says it has been finished since August, but the shop won’t take the rest of her money or give her car back.

“They just keep giving me excuses, or I show up to find the place closed,” Voorhees said.

When she dropped it off, the shop was called Markal Motors. But now the sign says “T. Automotive.”

At the end of her rope, she called Better Call Behnken for help.

Her paperwork shows she’s paid $600 and owes $1,083. So we went with her, her money orders in hand, to pay her balance and collect her car.

In a bizarre move, a man working there refused to give back the car. He also refused to give his name, but he said his son owns the shop, and he appeared in charge.

At one point, a worker tried to give Voorhees’ her car back, but the man in charge stepped in and said no.

“Good luck to you,” he said. “Go to court, please. You settle with the court … maybe you get it free.”

So, we went with Voorhees to court and walked her through how to file a lien. Legal experts tell us that is the easiest way for her to get her car because law enforcement calls this a “civil matter.”

Voorhees still hopes the shop owners will change their minds, but if they don’t she can file the lien.

With the lien, she can pay her money to the court and receive a certificate to get her car. She can even take a sheriff’s deputy with her to collect the car. Then, in order to get paid, the mechanic would have to prove his case in court, in front of a judge.

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