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TroubleShooters: Car Conflict

POSTED: Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 7:23pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 9:42am

A red, 1998 Ford Mustang is at the center of this rather bizarre story.
Right now it's sitting in the lot of a Socorro body shop and two different people claim they own it.
Maria Elena Vasquez showed us a car title she says proves the Mustang belongs to her.
But she claims the owner of J & J Auto Body won't give it back to her.

"I've been calling and he hasn't answered," she said, referring to the body shop's owner.
Maria said she dropped the car off at the body shop back in December for a paint job and put $300 down.
But she said weeks went by and the work was never done.
Instead, she said the shop's owner told her the car broke down when he took it to Juarez.

"And I said why did you take the car? I gave it to you and you're supposed to paint the car. He said, well we took it over there and it got broken. I said you're not supposed to take it to another country," said Maria.
She said the shop's owner told her he invested $12,000 to fix the car after it broke down and wouldn't give it back to her until she reimbursed him.
That's why she called NewsChannel 9.
But the owner of J & J Auto Body, Jose Hernandez, tells a very different story.
He said Maria dropped the car off for a paint job but then she returned a few days later offering to sell it to him.
"She sold me the car for 14 hundred dollars. She gave me four months to pay the car," said Jose.
He said it was a verbal agreement.
But then he said a few days later the car broke down, not in Juarez, but down the street.
Jose says he spent over $1,000 of his own money to fix the car.
And he now wants Maria to reimburse him for a car he no longer wants to own.
Maria maintains she never agreed to sell him the car in the first place.

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