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Raytown auto shop desperate to stop theft, damage

Posted at 9:25 PM, Oct 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-05 00:13:14-04

RAYTOWN, Mo. — A Raytown auto shop owner says he’s struggling to keep customer cars safe after hours.

Tom Hadley, owner of All American Auto, says people bring their cars in to get work done and end up needing more done than expected due to theft and damage.

“I’m a small mom and pop shop, and I keep my prices fair,” Hadley said. “I just want the stuff to stop.”

Hadley has been trying to work up new ways to protect his shop.

“There’s not much else I can do, I don’t know what else to do. I’ve sat up here till four o’clock in the morning waiting for something to happen,” he said.

Hadley says the last decade he’s hit a breaking point after 21 years in business trying to keep people out of his customers' cars.

Hadley showed KSHB 41 News video and parking lot proof of people rifling through cars, busted locks, broken windows, broken ignitions and stolen radios.

“They just rip everything out of the car, the center console,” he said. “They sit there and just rip through. I mean, I watched a guy on video smoking a cigar with a Chiefs shirt on sitting inside of a car picking through stuff that doesn’t belong to him. Then I have to call the customer in the morning and say, ‘I’m so sorry, your car has been gone through.’”

Technically, Hadley isn’t held responsible for the damage, but he makes it a point to replace it anyway.

“I feel bad about it, so I take care of it, which in turn pulls my money from my pocket,” Hadley said.

He says he’s paid out thousands of dollars in theft damage, with sometimes multiple people coming to his parking lot a night.

“But it’s miserable when it happens to us cause it’s hard to keep our business going,” Hadley said. “If the bad people are watching, if you need help, go get it. If you need a job, get it. Leave people's stuff alone. These people work for it, and so do I.”

Hadley says he needs additional Raytown police patrols at night, but KSHB 41 has not heard back yet on where his request stands.