Mechanic who promised cars to folks in recovery took money, did not supply, police say

Wilson, 43, does not really feel that way any more.

Following operating added hrs and saving revenue for months, she reported she sent a $4,000 down payment via Cash Application in June to Aaron E. Hayes, a mechanic in Suwanee, who operated Wheels-N-Restoration. She reported he advised her he would uncover her a dependable car for all-around $10,000 — the down payment and then $200 each week for 26 weeks.

Months afterwards, Wilson nevertheless had no motor vehicle from Hayes. And when Wilson documented it all to police previous thirty day period she learned she was not by itself.

According to Captain Robert Thompson with the Town of Suwanee Police Office, Wilson’s circumstance is just one of 7 involving Hayes that the department is investigating. On November 8, Gwinnett Magistrate Court issued 6 felony warrants for Hayes’ arrest centered on six of the problems, which include Wilson’s. Suwanee Law enforcement have been unable to identify Hayes, Thompson stated.

The allegations outlined towards Hayes, 53, in warrants and police stories expose a pattern.

Each adult men and women sent money, from time to time thousands of bucks, to Hayes and his Wheels-N-Restoration corporation to invest in automobiles that have been never ever sent, in accordance to allegations in police records and arrest warrants. Often, when purchasers pressed Hayes for answers, he would refund some, but not all, of the revenue, or provide other assurances, information demonstrate.

A Chamblee woman very last thirty day period told law enforcement that she despatched Hayes thousands of pounds for a 2006 BMW just about a yr in the past and nonetheless no motor vehicle experienced arrived. Just this month, a gentleman who lived in the vicinity of Athens advised police he was referred to Hayes by a regional restoration program and hardly ever been given a motor vehicle immediately after he sent him $1,800 for a down payment. And a woman from Norcross advised police past month she introduced her Toyota Camry to Hayes in August to get it repaired, paid out him far more than $2,400 and he by no means returned the car.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tried to achieve Hayes but the cellular phone variety affiliated with him was out of provider, and he did not react to e-mails. A go to to the location of his mechanic store in Suwanee exposed it experienced shut.

Justin Mizell, another human being who filed a criticism with law enforcement, said he loaned $15,000 to Hayes this calendar year for his Wheels-N-Restoration method.

Mizell explained he saw a Fb submit by Hayes explaining an expense possibility to make revenue and assist those in recovery get a motor vehicle. Sober for six many years, Mizell stated he was skeptical about Hayes’ guarantee to produce a 100 percent return on investment, but figured he would at least get his revenue back again, even though also encouraging people in recovery.

He reported Hayes started offering him the run all over this fall.

Mizell reported he went to law enforcement when he commenced viewing people today in the area recovery local community article on the net alleging they had been nmed by Hayes.

“I had no clue that there were this quite a few men and women that experienced been influenced by him,” claimed Mizell.

Hannah Hitchcock claimed she met Hayes while he was running a now-shut auto mend shop in Suwanee. She reported she experienced been the assistance manager, and Hayes began possessing her do get the job done on the aspect for Wheels-N-Restoration.

She reported at first it appeared like an business with a mission to help people today. Hancock stated around time she began to see red flags and became concerned with the way Hayes was undertaking small business. Hayes was accepting hundreds of dollars in down payments from persons, she stated, even as present purchasers nevertheless hadn’t received the autos he had promised.

Her concerns led her to leave the group before this year, she reported. Her LinkedIn web page stated she used virtually 3 decades doing the job as the director of customer expert services.

”I had informed him that I did not sense it was ethical to continue on accepting new purchasers when there were other shoppers continue to waiting around to acquire their autos,” she stated.

Wheel-N-Restoration had been running out of a mechanic’s bay off Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. Hayes’ landlord, Jhonny Galeano, told the AJC that Hayes had stopped spending rent and left about two months back, right after a string of poor checks and excuses.

Hayes owed him $9,000 in unpaid rent, according to Galeano, who said he ultimately just changed the locks to get Hayes out.

“I do not consider I’ll ever recuperate the revenue. It was lie immediately after lie just after lie,” Galeano mentioned.

Although Wheels-n-Restoration introduced alone as a nonprofit, the AJC was not able to discover required tax 990 forms affiliated with the identify.

In Georgia, nonprofits are meant to register with Secretary of Condition Brad Raffensberger’s office environment. According to Raffensberger’s spokesperson, Wheels-N-Restoration hardly ever registered with the point out and no complaints had been produced to Raffensberger’s office environment.

Devoid of grievances or registration, it is complicated for authorities to even know there is negative behavior to keep track of.

“We open investigations as they are obtained,” stated Raffensberger’s spokesperson. “We really encourage those who suspect a charity is running illegally to notify the regional authorities and our office”

It’s unclear just when Wheels-N-Recovery commenced. It has no web-site, but its earliest publishing on its Instagram site is from February 2020. The group describes itself as a “NonProfit Organization” and encourages fascinated events to go to their Fb page for testimonials. The Facebook website page went down following Wilson submitted her police report.

For Wilson, it is the breach of have confidence in in the restoration community that is saddest for her. She explained just after she submitted her law enforcement report, Hayes texted her to say he would operate on refunding her income. Realizing that was not likely to occur, she started off a GoFundMe to test to recuperate the $4,200 she paid out Hayes.

“We are in determined will need of funding for a car or truck that I can acquire my partner to and from medical appointments, and that I can get to and from work in,” she wrote on the GoFundMe. “Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers, and any aid would be significantly appreciated.”

Suwanee Law enforcement Office is asking persons with facts on Hayes’ whereabouts or anybody who may well have been a target of fraud by Hayes to call Detective Losquadro at 770-904-7608.

You can report suspicious charitable solicitations to the Ga Secretary of State’s Charities Division by calling 470-312-2640 or sending an electronic mail to [email protected], or to the Georgia Attorney General’s Shopper Safety Division by checking out consumer.ga.gov or calling 404-651-8600.