SHELBYVILLE — More than a year after customers began sounding the alarm about a shop that specialized in diesel vehicle repairs, prosecutors charged its owner with dozens of felonies.
Superior Auto & Diesel Repair owner Alan Jones faces 38 felony counts, including theft, auto theft, fraud and corrupt business influence.
Customers first told CBS4 about their frustrations with Jones and his company in early 2020. Like many of them, Jason Burke’s experience led to a small claims lawsuit.
“I did enough research, I thought, on the place” Burke said.
Burke took his 1965 Ford Galaxie to the shop in 2016 for repairs and spent years after that trying to get it back. When he finally did recover it late last year, he said it was missing many of its parts.
According to an affidavit, investigators found some of those parts while executing a search warrant at the property in March 2021.
“I’m glad to be done with it, but I’m not really done with it, I’m still left with a mess,” Burke said.
Shelby County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Scott Spears and his team first charged Jones with one count of auto theft last year. A month later, a Shelbyville Police Department investigator began speaking with other customers, leading to the additional charges filed last week.
“(Some) new allegations are even stemming after he was arrested and released on those (first) charges,” Spears said. “This has been going on for a long time and he kind of got lucky and flew under the radar.”
The affidavit in the case lays out allegations by 21 customers, many who said they struggled to get their vehicles back from Jones after they paid for repairs. Kristina Kinney and John Keller both filed small claims cases and told CBS4 they spent thousands of dollars for repairs at other shops, after they had already paid Jones to do work on their trucks.
“I don’t know if it’s a chop shop, I don’t know if he’s tore it apart,” Kinney said in February 2020, before she used to a court order to get her truck back. “He would not let me on the property to look for my vehicle.”
“Between me and the warranty company, I’ve got at least $25,000 sunk into this now,” Keller said.
“This is pretty much a criminal enterprise, based on the investigation and the scope,” Spears said.
Jones was still being held in the Shelby County jail on Thursday and all charges against him are pending. His lawyer did not return a call and email asking for comment.
Burke hoped that other car owners could learn from the case.
“Protect yourself, you know, get things in writing. If they insist on you paying with cash get a written receipt, for sure,” Burke said.
If you have a dispute like this with a company, you should contact local law enforcement and file a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.